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3 dead after car goes wrong way on expressway, collides with truck

A car that rolled over after crashing into a large truck is seen along with the truck near the entrance of the Ouchi Junction on the Nihonkai-Tohoku Expressway in Yurihonjo, Akita Prefecture, on Oct. 21, 2016. (Mainichi)

AKITA -- A light car heading the wrong way on an expressway in Akita Prefecture in the early hours of Oct. 21 collided with an oncoming truck, leaving three dead, police said.

    The three have been identified as Takeji Sasaki, 76, Kyoetsu Ito, 82, and Katsu Ito, 79, all from Yurihonjo, Akita Prefecture. All three were in the car.

    The accident occurred near the entrance to the Ouchi Junction on the Nihonkai-Tohoku Expressway in Yurihonjo, Akita Prefecture, at around 4 a.m.

    According to prefectural police, when the car entered the expressway from National Route 105, the driver apparently took the wrong way in the junction, drove into the oncoming lane and hit the right side of the truck before rolling over.

    The section of the expressway between the Honjo Interchange and the Matsugasaki-Kameda Interchange was close for about 6 1/2 hours following the accident.

    According to the Akita Prefectural Government's road division, there have been several cases where an elderly driver has gone the wrong way in the Ouchi Junction and ended up in oncoming traffic.

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