Please view the main text area of the page by skipping the main menu.

2 dead, 4 injured as taxi mounts sidewalk in Tokyo

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- A 73-year-old woman was killed and four others including a child were injured Saturday when a taxi accelerated suddenly and mounted a central Tokyo sidewalk, while the taxi driver also later died.

    The woman, Kumiko Kobayashi, was struck and killed while walking on the sidewalk in the capital's Chiyoda Ward at around 4:20 p.m. Hitoshi Yamamoto, the 64-year-old driver who was in critical condition after the accident, died in hospital, the police said Sunday.

    This photo shows the scene of an accident in which a taxi veered onto a sidewalk and hit four people in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward on Sept. 11, 2021. (Kyodo)

    Police believe the accident might have been triggered by a sudden health problem experienced by the driver, as an emergency signal in Yamamoto's vehicle was activated.

    The taxi struck two people riding bicycles -- a man in his 40s and his 9-year-old daughter -- before driving onto the sidewalk and hitting Kobayashi and another woman in her 60s. A passenger of the taxi in his 30s also sustained serious injuries, the police said.

    Police said the taxi had stopped at a red light and did not move when the traffic signal turned green. It suddenly lurched forward after the driver of a vehicle behind blew the horn.

    It came to a stop after crashing into a tree on the sidewalk without any sign the brakes had been applied, they added.

    A witness was quoted by the police as saying Yamamoto seemed to have slumped forward in his seat before the car moved away from the traffic lights.

    Also in The Mainichi

    The Mainichi on social media