National / Crime & Legal

Tour bus firm ESP told to pay ¥88 million to kin of student killed in Nagano crash

Kyodo

The Saitama District Court ordered Friday a charter bus company and its president to pay about ¥88 million ($805,000) in damages to relatives of a university student who was killed along with 14 others in a crash in 2016.

The 19-year-old university student was a passenger on a packed ski tour bus run by Tokyo-based ESP when it veered off a road in Karuizawa, Nagano Prefecture, after hitting a guardrail at 96 kph in the early hours of Jan. 15, according to the suit.

In the crash, bus driver Hiroshi Tsuchiya, 65, another driver and 13 university students were killed and 26 others were injured.

Three relatives of the student filed the suit in December last year, seeking ¥150 million in compensation. The plaintiffs claimed Tsuchiya lacked proper driving skills and that the company failed to give him adequate training.

Papers on ESP President Misaku Takahashi were sent to prosecutors in June 2017 on suspicion of professional negligence resulting in death and injury.