National / Crime & Legal

Boy hit by Tokyo police car at Yotsuya Station dies after turning 5

Kyodo

The then-4-year-old boy who was in critical condition after being run over by a rushing Metropolitan Police Department patrol car at Yotsuya Station in Chiyoda Ward last month died on Friday morning, the police said.

The accident happened on Aug. 18 at around 10:45 a.m., when the patrol car blew through a red light, sirens on and lights flashing, just as the child was crossing busy Shinjuku-dori between the station and Sophia University.

Nearly a month after the accident, however, the MPD has not disclosed how fast the patrol car was going or identified the driver or the child.

Though the police car’s red lights were flashing, the crossing signal was green at the time, the police said. The driver was identified as a 51-year-old male sergeant. A senior officer was in the passenger seat at the time, the police said.

The MPD is set to hand the officer’s case to prosecutors on suspicion of involuntary manslaughter. The MPD is investigating footage from the in-vehicle data recorder and nearby surveillance cameras to see whether the officer was driving on the busy thoroughfare at an appropriate speed.

According to the police, the patrol car was rushing from Shinjuku to MPD headquarters in Kasumigaseki to conduct a drug test on a suspect in the car when it slammed into the child, knocking him unconscious.

The boy’s family was nearby when the accident occurred.

The boy, who had been in critical condition since, apparently turned 5 in the hospital.

“We will give thorough instructions to prevent a similar incident from occurring again,” said Takayoshi Kanai, a general manager at MPD.

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