• Kyodo


Prosecutors on Saturday indicted a former employee of the Fukuoka Municipal Government on charges of drunken driving resulting in the death of three children last month.

Futoshi Imabayashi, 22, could be sentenced to 25 years in prison if found guilty as the prosecutors have charged him with dangerous driving resulting in death, a much more serious offense than fatal professional negligence, the charge usually applied in deadly traffic accidents.

The prosecutors allege Imabayashi was severely impaired by alcohol when he rear-ended a sport utility vehicle driven by company employee Akio Ogami, 33, on a bridge over Fukuoka’s Hakata Bay on the evening of Aug. 25.

The SUV, also carrying Ogami’s wife, Kaori, 29, their sons Hiroaki, 4, and Tomoaki, 2, and daughter Saaya, 1, plunged into the bay and the children were killed. The two adults were injured.

The prosecutors said Imabayashi fled from the scene and drank about 1 liter of water before being arrested in an apparent bid to hide that he had been driving while intoxicated.

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