• Kyodo


Four members of a family of five were killed in a car crash and an apparent hit-and-run in Sunagawa, Hokkaido, on Saturday night, police said.

According to authorities, a car and a miniwagon were involved in a crash at an intersection on National Road No. 12 in Sunagawa at around 10:30 p.m., killing Koichi Nagaoke, 44, his wife, Fumie, 44, and daughter, Megumi, 17, who were all in the mini-wagon.

The body of their son, Shota, 16, was found about 800 meters away, linked by a trail of blood. Police believe the boy was thrown out of the vehicle and by the force of the collision and then hit and dragged by another automobile.

A girl believed to be another daughter of the Nagaokes was found seriously injured in the wagon’s rear seat.

Meanwhile, the three people in the car were rushed to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

The miniwagon was reportedly heading east at the intersection, about 3 km north of JR Sunagawa Station, while the car was traveling north.

Following the crash, the car hit the median strip, knocked down a street light and caught fire.

Hiroyuki Kishi, 46, who lives about 140 meters away from the intersection, said he heard the sound of three explosions Saturday night. Fire and smoke was rising from the automobiles, and he saw two men hunching and a woman lying in the road, he added.

On Sunday morning, the burned-out car and the destroyed miniwagon still lay in the road, with shoes and pieces of tires spread about.

“I often see a traffic accident because of my job, but haven’t seen one as terrible as this before,” Takeshi Nakayama, a 45-year-old truck driver, said Sunday.