3 killed after minivan crashes into truck in tunnel

GIFU —

Three people, including a 4-year-old boy, were killed after a minivan crashed into a truck in a tunnel in Gifu Prefecture on Friday.

According to police, the accident occurred at about 2 p.m. in the Kiyomiyokamachi tunnel in Takayama. TBS reported that the minivan—carrying six members of one family—apparently crossed over the center line about 50 meters into the tunnel and hit the truck head-on. The road outside the tunnel was icy at the time, police said.

Police said the impact threw pasengers in the minivan and their luggage out of the back.

Two of the minivan’s adult passengers, aged 53 and 56, and their 4-year-old grandson died in the crash. The other three passengers, including a 7-year-old girl, were taken to hospital with severe injuries, police said. 

Japan Today

  • 1

    Reckless

    They need to salt the roads here. Damn shame that could be avoided.

  • 2

    smithinjapan

    Reckless: Maybe so, but what good would salting do in a tunnel? RIP to the victims. I'm guessing no seat belts.

  • 1

    Robert Dykes

    @Reckless they don't salt the roads because of the heavy agriculture. They do have salt near bendy curvy roads. But that is about it. You usually don't need to worry about straight aways. Ice is only dangerous when you turn. Ice doesn't make your car magically change direction or cross the the center line

  • 3

    Spidey

    Seat belts save lives.

    A lesson this society has yet to learn.

    RIP

    S

  • 1

    jojo_in_japan

    Spidey: No mention of seat belt use. A head on collision even with belts can be devastating/fatal.

  • 2

    Reckless

    The Japanese news reported she slid on an ice patch into the oncoming truck.

  • -1

    browny1

    All indications of no seatbelts on in the rear.

    The deceased were thrown out of the vehicle.

    The driver & front passenger who bore the full impact of the head on collision were not killed.

  • -1

    wanderlust

    I wonder if they were looking at the ceiling as they were driving along - that has caused a few accidents elsewhere...

  • -1

    House Atreides

    They should have had tire chains. They're a bit of a pain to put on but they do save lives.

  • 0

    martyman

    Rip to the members that were killed in this accident. One would wonder if distracted driving, no seat belts, and speed were the cause of the accident. The grand parents and their grandson passing in one incident will be a hard thing for everyone to live with especially if the driver was totally at fault.

  • 0

    badsey3

    if your roads are really that bad you should be using some dedicated snow/winter tires. I like Nokian. You can also buy studded tires with the studs not exposed, but in the rubber.

    Taking air out of your tires can also help, but you want to keep the fronts always pumped up higher than the rears so the front will lead (front has less drag than rear). Salt on the road is also slippery (mini ball bearings).

    Most likely FWD, hit the ice patch under acceleration or worse with the cruise control on at speed. You want to roll over ice with little to no throttle and you should keep straight. Absolute worst would be to hit the brakes and make the rear light on ice.

    (FWD only) Sometimes people go to fast on ice/snow =the front stays light (and straight) but the rear is losing traction (starts to wiggle). =When those people try to stop they realize that they have no traction at all and the only reason the car was still going straight is that the front was still lighter than the rear (a no traction condition but the car will keep going straight until a curve or braking is needed).

  • 0

    AustPaul

    Saw this on NHK this morning, sad news especially when a child is killed.

    Seat belts have been mentioned by other posters, that is one thing I noticed when I lived up there-a lot of kids in back seats of cars with no belts on. If there is zero tolerance for blood alcohol for drivers then it should be the same for seatbelts.

  • -1

    Jack Stern

    Hard to say what really happened. Possibly she braked on ice in the tunnel and lost control putting her into the oncoming lane.

  • 0

    taj

    Badsey, I was with you until you suggested cruise control. I haven't ever had that on a car here. Would agree with the rest of what you wrote.

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