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The Utsunomiya District Court sentenced a truck driver to 31/2 years in prison Wednesday for killing a 19-year-old caregiver when he crashed into her car while driving under the influence of alcohol last July.

The court said the conduct of Hideo Inoue, 52, of Tokyo, was tantamount to “willful negligence,” meaning the serious consequences of his actions were predictable.

Inoue drank 2.5 liters of beer and drove his 10-ton truck from Kuroiso, Tochigi Prefecture, to his company’s premises in Urayasu, Chiba Prefecture, on July 31, the court said.

Inoue dozed off behind the wheel and his vehicle veered into the oncoming traffic lane, colliding with a car being driven by Yuka Waki. She died of head injuries.

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