Monday, May 21, 2018

Update: "Driver of construction vehicle that hit and killed 11-year-old girl in Feb had epilepsy"

From Japan Today, 5/21/18.

The driver of a construction vehicle that rammed into pupils and teachers of a school for children with impaired hearing in Osaka on Feb 1, killing an 11-year-old girl and injuring four others, suffered from epilepsy, prosecutors revealed on Saturday.

Police believe the driver of the wheel loader, Takuya Sano, 35, probably suffered an epileptic attack just before the accident, Sankei Shimbun reported. After his arrest, Sano told police he mistakenly pressed the gas pedal instead of the brake pedal when he was trying to stop the vehicle as the traffic light turned red. He hit Ayaka Ide, and two other pupils of the same age, as well as two female teachers as the five were waiting for a traffic signal near the school's gate in Ikuno Ward.

The accident took place in a residential area about 400 meters south of JR Tsuruhashi Station. Road construction work was being carried out near the site.

Sano admitted that he had been prescribed medication for epilepsy but could not remember if he had taken his medication that day. Police also said that Sano had been in a traffic accident once before while operating a vehicle.

Prosecutors ordered a three-month medical and psychiatric examination of Sano, that ended on May 16.

Drivers who cause fatal accidents due to medical conditions such as epilepsy and schizophrenia have been subject to tougher penalties since the Road Traffic Law was revised in 2013.


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