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8 teens involved in fatal Nara accident had no license for large motorcycles

NARA -- None of eight people in their teens involved in a large accident involving a two-seater motorcycle and two mopeds that caused deaths of the six here in western Japan on Aug. 31 had driver's licenses for a large two-seater motorcycle, the Nara Prefectural Police disclosed.

According to police, none of them had drivers' licenses for the motorcycle, while four did have drivers' licenses for mopeds. In addition, some of them might have not been wearing helmets, as there were only two helmets left at the accident site. The motorcycles could have been carrying an excess of riders, and police are investigating the details of the crash.

The police said that the teens were riding a 1,000 cc motorcycle and two mopeds when they ran off an elevated bridge on National Route No. 24 in the city of Nara at roughly 2:20 a.m. on Aug. 31. Shortly before the incident, motorcycles were reportedly witnessed running a red light.

Of the eight riders, five male residents of Nara aged 17 and 18 and one 14-year-old female junior high school student, a resident of Yamatokoriyama, also in Nara Prefecture, died. Two other female riders involved in the accident, aged 14 and 17, were injured.

Authorities are investigating the incident as a suspected violation of the Act on Punishment of Acts Inflicting Death or Injury on Others by Driving a Motor Vehicle, etc. for negligent driving causing death or injury, in addition to another charge of violating the Road Traffic Act for driving without a license.

(Japanese original by Satoshi Kazuno and Erina Sato, Nara Bureau)

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