Authorization

87-year-old driver in fatal Tokyo car crash to be referred to prosecutors

Police plan to refer to prosecutors the case of an 87-year-old former government official who caused a fatal car crash in April in central Tokyo, investigative sources said Thursday.
Kozo Iizuka, released from the hospital in mid-May after sustaining broken bones in the April 19 accident, told investors during an on-site investigation in the Ikebukuro district Thursday he may have stepped on the accelerator instead of the brake pedal when he lost control of his vehicle and plowed into pedestrians, the sources said.
Iizuka, the former head of the Agency of Industrial Science and Technology, had claimed the brake did not work when his car started to accelerate even though the police found no mechanical problems with the vehicle.
The crash killed a 3-year-old girl and her mother, and injured nine others including Iizuka's wife, who was in the car with him.
The police have been under fire for questioning Iizuka voluntarily without arresting him. The accident has prompted renewed concerns about the fitness of elderly motorists as Japan's population rapidly grays.


© KYODO
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