OSAKA — The Osaka District Court found a truck driver not guilty Wednesday of causing the death of a cyclist in a traffic accident in February last year.
Judge Nobuyuki Yokota said the 35-year-old trucker could not have avoided hitting the 51-year-old cyclist, who apparently ignored a stop signal at an intersection.
Yokota said there was no negligence although the truck was traveling about 10 kph over the legal speed limit.
According to the court, the truck was traveling at about 60 kph on a road in the city of Yao, Osaka Prefecture, before dawn on Feb. 17 last year when it hit the man as he was returning home from a bar.
The man sustained head injuries and died.
Yokota said the truck driver’s initial admission of negligence to police was not credible.
He said the driver admitted he was negligent only because investigators told him no insurance coverage would be offered to the victim’s family unless he did so.
The trucker received a summary order to pay a fine of 500,000 yen in August last year. He objected to the order and requested a formal court hearing over the case.
Takashi Kobayashi, the deputy chief of the Osaka District Public Prosecutor’s Office, said the ruling was unexpected.
He said he would consult with a superior office before deciding whether to appeal.
In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.