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Man arrested over drunken-driving traffic accident killing 4 in northern Japan

In this file photo dated Sept. 22, 2018, police officers examine four vehicles involved in a crash that occurred on National Route No. 101 in Tsugaru, Aomori Prefecture. (Mainichi)

AOMORI -- A man who allegedly caused a traffic accident that killed four people and injured three others in the northern Japan city of Tsugaru in Aomori Prefecture in late September, while he was speeding under the influence of alcohol, was arrested Oct. 22 on suspicion of dangerous driving, police said.

Yuya Takasugi, 32, allegedly hit a small car running in front of his vehicle from behind along a straight section of National Route No. 101 at around 1 a.m. on Sept. 22, and then crossed the center line and hit another small oncoming car, prefectural police said.

The suspect, a local resident of Tsugaru, drank alcohol before he drove the car, and was driving at a speed far higher than the 50-kilometer-per hour limit when the multiple-car crash occurred, according to the police.

The accident killed 43-year-old Jun Hirofune and his 30-year-old wife Airi who were in the first car hit by Takasugi's vehicle -- as well as the driver of the second car, Haruji Yamada, 63, and passenger Kumiko Yamada, 46. Yamada had worked for a chauffeur service for drivers who consumed alcohol. The driver of a third car involved in the crash was also injured. Takasugi and two men in his car were seriously injured in the accident.

(Japanese original by Ayumu Iwasaki, Aomori Bureau)

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