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Driver in fatal pedestrian ramming in Ikebukuro believed to be under influence of drugs

Kyodo

A man under the influence of quasi-legal herbs drove a speeding car into pedestrians Tuesday evening in the bustling Tokyo district of Ikebukuro, leaving one person dead and seven people injured.

The driver, Keiji Nagura, a 37-year-old restaurant manager from Yoshikawa, Saitama Prefecture, was arrested Tuesday on initial suspicion of negligent driving resulting in injury. The incident killed a woman in her 20s, while six other pedestrians were injured, police said.

Shortly after 8 p.m., Nagura drove the car down a sidewalk for at least 20 meters, knocked over a mailbox and hit the walls of buildings, according to witnesses. Nagura apparently never attempted to use his brakes.

When he finally stopped the car, Nagura looked exhausted and was drooling inside the vehicle, they said.

Nagura told investigators he had inhaled “dappo drugs,”or quasi-legal herbs containing cannabislike ingredients.

Witnesses were shocked to see pedestrians knocked down before their eyes.

“I jumped out when I heard a big bang, and saw people who appeared unconscious lying on the ground,” said a 25-year-old employee at a fast-food restaurant near the site of the crash. “Some were bleeding.”

The incident took place near the crowded west exit of JR Ikebukuro Station.