• Kyodo


Five children and a junior high school teacher were injured Wednesday morning when a car careened into them in Osaka Prefecture, police and rescue workers said. The driver blamed “blinding sunshine.”

The three boys and two girls, ages 6 to 12, and the teacher, 55, were walking to school in the city of Hirakata at around 8:10 a.m. when the car ran into them. A 10-year-old girl apparently suffered a serious head injury.

The car struck them from behind in front of the children’s elementary school. The 21-year-old driver, Takaaki Kitamaki, was arrested on suspicion of negligent driving resulting in injury.

“The sun was too bright. I could not see the children and failed to take safety measures,” Kitamaki was quoted as telling investigators in the city, which lies halfway between Osaka and Kyoto.

He was not driving under the influence of alcohol, and a passenger in his car reported the accident to the police. Investigators believe the incident occurred as Kitamaki tried to avoid an oncoming car.

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