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3 Die in Tragic Accident in Yokohama

June 2, 2009

Remember what it was like to first get your license? It’s both exciting and nerve racking to be driving around on your own free will. This is probably what the 18 year old university student was thinking last night as he was driving through the streets of Yokohoma.

Unfortunately, he did not think to check the light as he was heading for the intersection. As he went through the red light, his car was side swiped by another, and pushed up onto the sidewalk. Waiting on the sidewalk were three female pedestrians. They died shortly thereafter. The newspapers each had a different account of the story that made the driver seem guilty, or not guilty.

Asahi – Guilty: “I was really not looking” The Asahi reported the words of the university student as “I was really not looking.” The Asahi then reported the words of the other driver, claiming that she turned “following the light.” Due to this testimony the police are looking into the possibility of the student driver running and ignoring the red light.

The student’s car when it hit the other car turning into the intersection must have gone far. In the Asahi article according to the authorities, pedestrians who were killed were estimated to be about 10 meters from the crash.

Nikkei  – Maybe Not Guilty: “I did not know the light was there” The Nikkei reports a different version of the student’s testimony. Instead of admitting he “wasn’t looking”, as the Asahi reported, they instead claim he “did not know the light was there.” They also tell that the authorities are looking into the possibility of the student running the red light, and omit the testimony from the other driver that was included in the Asahi’s article.

Yomiuri – Definitely Guilty: “Strong Possibility that he ran the light” When the Yomiuri reported that the authorities were looking into the possibility of the student running the red light, they emphasized that they were looking into the ”strong possibility that he ran the light”. They seem to side with the Asahi, as their report of the student’s testimony also stated “I was really not looking.”

The Yomiuri’s estimate for how far away the pedestrians were was even farther than the Asahi’s, at 15 meters!  The Yomiuri also claims that there was a car stopped at the intersection, and the driver passed it and ran the red light. Guilty, as charged.

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