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Police car on emergency hits boy crossing at lights in Tokyo

Red flashing lights are seen on a police car. (Mainichi/Kazuhisa Soneda)

TOKYO -- A 4-year-old boy crossing an intersection with a green light was hit by a police car responding to an urgent case in front of Yotsuya Station in the center of the capital on the morning of Aug. 18, leaving him unconscious and in a serious condition.

The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD)'s Kojimachi Police Station is questioning the 51-year-old sergeant who was driving the police car, belonging to the MPD's Shinjuku Police Station, on suspicion of traffic violations.

According to the two police stations, the sergeant, who works for the community affair's section, was accompanied by a senior officer in their 30s sitting in the front passenger seat. They were heading to the MPD's headquarters in Chiyoda Ward to test a drug suspect's urine as part of an investigation. The police car ran a red light as it entered the intersection while sounding its siren and hit the boy at around 10:40 a.m.

Kojimachi Police Station is examining the details of the incident, including the speed of the police vehicle approaching the intersection. The boy had been accompanied to an area near the intersection by his father but was crossing the lights by himself.

Masayuki Okabe, deputy chief of Shinjuku Police Station, commented on the accident, "I would like to express our sympathy to the person who suffered injuries and pray for his early recovery. I will try hard to instruct and educate members of the police station thoroughly to prevent a recurrence of a similar incident."

(Japanese original by Kazuya Shimura and Kazuki Sakuma, City News Department)

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