One man is arrested in relation to the incident that injured a number of pedestrians during one of Japan’s busiest holidays.

Shortly after 11 a.m. on Tuesday, May 3, a white sedan barreled through a red light and onto the sidewalk in front of JR Sannomiya Station in Kobe City, Japan, injuring a total of seven people, including the driver and passenger in the vehicle.

The incident happened in the midst of Golden Week, a succession of national holidays in which many white-collar workers have the week off and travel. The crowds at major stations, shopping districts, and other places of interest increase significantly during the holidays, and Sannomiya Station is no exception. A large number of people gathered to watch the aftermath of the incident, as several ambulances, police cars, and helicopters arrived on the scene.


Among those injured were a husband and wife, aged 51 and 44, and their 14-year-old daughter, who all suffered major injuries and broken bones. Two other pedestrians were taken away in ambulances as well, but only suffered minor injuries.


The driver of the vehicle was 63-year-old Kunihito Sawai, an unemployed resident of Kobe. Sawai was arrested on the spot for negligent driving resulting in injury. He is reported as saying, “I can’t really recall what had happened at the time I was arrested.” His son, who was riding in the passenger seat, was also treated for minor injuries.

Police are still investigating the cause of the accident, but have ruled out drunk driving. A neighbor of Sawai’s reports having seen him just a couple of days prior, when nothing seemed unusual about him. “He would always greet me whenever we met, and when I saw him just two days ago he seemed fine. Nothing out of the ordinary,” she said, and continued “He’s a very gentle-mannered man, I’ve never heard of him being in any sort of trouble before so I was very shocked to hear of the accident.”

Considering the number of people out and about it is lucky that more weren’t caught up in the accident, and that there were no fatalities. We wish a speedy recovery to those injured, and to those of you out there enjoying your Golden Week, please be safe!

Source: NHK News Web 
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