Two men killed by drunk driver in Sendai

SENDAI —

Two men were killed after they were hit by a car early Sunday morning on a highway in Sendai.

According to police, the incident happened at about 3 a.m. on National Route 48 in Sendai’s Aoba Ward, TBS reported. Road work was being carried out at the time. A car driven by Kenji Osaki, 20, went through a barrier and hit road worker Masanori Hata, 63, and security guard Tetsuya Kuribayashi, 31. They were taken to hospital where they were pronounced dead, police said.

Police said Osaki admitted he had been drinking heavily before the crash. He was charged with vehicular homicide, police said.

Japan Today

  • 4

    Matthew Simon

    New driver, new adult, new prison sentence.

  • -8

    Ch1n4Sailor

    RIP... Terrible, and 100% avoidable tragedy..

    But we need to remember, Bicycle Riders are the REAL cause of Death and Serious injury in Japan... That is if you are living on Planet Japan... Ridiculous Mentality...

    Motor Vehicles KILL... PERIOD... NOT Bicycles... No matter how much you want to make it seem that way, The Physics and Numbers aren't there!

  • 3

    Resurfaced

    He should be charged with murder....he knew better than to drive. He could have just called a daiko.

  • 1

    Ms. Alexander

    Guess he learned the hard way why driving while intoxicated is against the law! Should be two vehicular homicides and hope he is punished to the full extent.

  • -1

    DudeDeuce

    Whenever I tell Japanese people about the designated driver system they never say that it is a good idea, they only say that it is sad for the person that has to drive.

  • 1

    Nessie

    Vehicular homicide. Thank you. Not one of those peculiar mealy-mouthed Japanese half-charges.

  • -3

    basroil

    NessieNov. 26, 2012 - 01:55PM JST

    Vehicular homicide. Thank you. Not one of those peculiar mealy-mouthed Japanese half-charges.

    It's all bark and no bite. Most he can get is 15 years, the average is less than 5. He'll probably get off with 2 and change plus a two year license suspension.

    Since it is common sense that drinking and driving is a flagrant disregard for human life, they should have flat out charged him with murder. They would easily get a plea bargain from him, and he'd be locked up for 10 years or so. Far better than going the vehicular homicide route where he gets off with basically nothing and Japan goes on completely unphased.

  • 4

    Brainiac

    basroil

    A murder charge can't be filed unless there was intent to kill.

  • -1

    Ch1n4Sailor

    A murder charge can't be filed unless there was intent to kill.

    Yes, Murder Implies Intent. Manslaughter does not.

  • -2

    basroil

    BrainiacNov. 26, 2012 - 04:34PM JST

    A murder charge can't be filed unless there was intent to kill.

    Ch1n4SailorNov. 26, 2012 - 07:24PM JST

    Yes, Murder Implies Intent. Manslaughter does not.

    Good thing we are talking about Japan where the letter of the law says you are wrong.

    Article 199 does not require "intent", neither implied (i.e. getting drunk knowing it could lead to a fatal accident) or explicit (saying you will or planning) by the letter of the law.

    What happens is that they usually decide to charge them under 208-2 instead, since it's easy as hell to prove (just show that they were drunk driving and someone got so much as a scratch from it). Problem is that the maximum term is 15 years and minimum just 1, compared to a minimum of 5 years for 199.

    So, the prosecutors CAN, but WON'T use "murder" charges.

  • 0

    AustPaul

    Sad and avoidable. Is there much of a media campaign about drink driving? Does Japan have random breath testing?

  • 1

    Ben Drinken

    @AustPaul

    Yes, I've seen random breath testing in Tokyo a few times, usually on a bridge so drivers cannot easily escape.

  • -1

    cl400

    I was breath tested the other day. I did I very short, weak breath intentionally and I was waved on. Not sure if he got a reading or at least an accurate one though. There should be a lot more random breath tests going on though, like in other countries. It is a good deterrent!

  • 0

    Ms. Alexander

    I've only seen random breath tests during Safety Week and Bonenkai season which is coming up. They should have cops doing real jobs like random breath tests than chasing people of bicycles - day or night!

  • 0

    Jack Stern

    It seems that so many of these drunken drivers think they can get away with driving home in the early hours of the morning when they may think cops are off and asleep. How dumb! They should leave their vehicle at the establishment and take a taxi, or call a "daiko". Some money spend but safe all around. Pick up the car the next day.

  • -1

    bajhista65

    What happened to Japanese police force check points for drunk drivers. I guess it's cold outside and they prefer to stay inside their station drinking tea or sleeping.

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