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Police to send case of smartphone-using cyclist in fatal accident to prosecutors

KAWASAKI -- Police are set to send papers to prosecutors on a student who allegedly caused the death of an elderly woman here after riding into her on a power-assisted bicycle while using a smartphone, the Mainichi Shimbun has learned.

    According to the Kanagawa Prefectural Police's Asao Station, the 20-year-old university student is accused of gross negligence causing death for allegedly hitting 77-year-old Akiko Yonezawa on a sidewalk in Kawasaki's Asao Ward at around 3:15 p.m. on Dec. 7. The collision, which occurred just after the student moved off from an intersection, caused Yonezawa to fall and strike her head. She died of her injuries on the morning of Dec. 9.

    At the time of the incident, the student was apparently carrying a smartphone in her left hand and a drink in her right while steering the bike, and also had an earphone in her left ear.

    Police are investigating whether the student was unaware that Yonezawa was walking toward her from the left because she was operating her smartphone right up until the collision.

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