UTSUNOMIYA, Tochigi Pref. (Kyodo) A drunk driver who hit and killed two girls has reached a settlement in a damages suit filed by the parents in which he promises never to drink again and keep the accident site clean, lawyers for the parents said Thursday.
Noriyuki Yaguchi, 41, a former convenience store owner, is serving a seven-year prison sentence for negligence resulting in death.
As part of the settlement, mediated by Judge Makoto Iwata at the Utsunomiya District Court, Yaguchi promised to pick up litter at the accident site at least three times a year for 15 years upon his release from prison and to give 10,000 yen a month to a Tokyo-based support group for crime victims for 15 years, starting one year after his release. The girls’ parents also will receive an unspecified amount of money and Yaguchi agreed not to drink alcohol again.
Yaguchi made the pledges in a compromise agreement to settle a 415 million yen damages suit filed by the parents.
The lawyers declined to reveal the amount paid in the settlement at the request of the parents.
The lawyers said the parents wanted Yaguchi to fully own up to his responsibility and compensate for his crime with deeds, not money.
Yaguchi was found guilty of recklessly driving his vehicle while drunk and hitting Rie Suzuki and Ayumi Soeya, both 14, on a road in the town of Mashiko, Tochigi Prefecture, on the night of March 17, 2003. He fled the scene while the two girls died.
The court sentenced Yaguchi to five years and six months in prison in July 2003, but the Tokyo High Court increased the sentence to seven years that December.