NAGANO – Four people were killed and at least 10 others injured early Thursday in a pileup involving 21 vehicles, mostly trucks, on the Chuo Expressway in Nagano Prefecture, police and firefighters said.
Of the four, a 3-year-old boy and a woman believed to be his mother died after their car was crushed by trucks. The car also carried a critically injured man — believed to be the boy’s father — and a girl, thought to be his sister, who sustained heavy injuries, including a skull fracture.
A man believed to be the driver of the truck that initially blocked the road and caused the pileup was found dead beneath another truck.
Another man who was trapped in a truck and later rescued, died shortly after when his heart and lungs stopped.
The police have not yet identified the bodies, and 10 others injured in the accident were taken to hospitals for treatment.
The accident occurred at around 1 a.m. on a curve near a parking area off the expressway in the village of Achi, the police said.
A large truck ended up blocking the road after a single-vehicle accident, and the 20 following vehicles collided either with the truck or each other, the police said.
The surface of the road was slick from rain at the time of the accident, and the speed limit in the area is 70 kph.
According to the highway operator, there have been 54 accidents due to speeding and other factors at the same curve.
A section of the expressway between Iida and Sonohara was closed off after the accident.
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