Man Jailed Over Tire Slaughter


A truck driver has been jailed after his tire came loose and smashed into a bus, killing one and injuring three, in an accident as unusual as it is unpleasant.

The accident occurred in 2008, and the trial of the truck driver recently concluded; the driver, a 38-year-old man, has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to 20 months in prison, along with a ¥200,000 fine, some 8 months less than the prosecution sought.

The judge presiding castigated the driver: “You’ve excessively damaged road safety consciousness.”

The cause of the loose tire was determined to be 2 broken bolts inside the car’s rear left axle that had been negligently overlooked by the driver.

Once the large truck was out on the freeway, the tire came loose from its axle and collided forcefully with a Kinki Nippon tour bus, killing the driver and injuring passengers.

Via Asahi.

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    Avatar of motaku96
    Comment by motaku96
    14:28 27/02/2009 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Saw something like this on the news once.

    Comment by Tim
    20:38 27/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Something like this actually happened in the Washington DC area last month, where a tire came off of a towed truck, bounced across the highway before smashing in the a car driven by a pregnant woman, killing her... :(

    Avatar of misterchef
    Comment by Riot Gear
    Comment by Kazaki
    09:40 27/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    All aboard teh Otaku Bus!!!

    Comment by Shimu
    10:41 27/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    That doesn't sound very fair...

    Avatar of tB
    Comment by t//B
    10:44 27/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I question the mental state of the judge. It was clearly an accident.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:58 27/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Although I agree “You’ve excessively damaged road safety consciousness.” might be taking things a little too far.
    After all, with accidents like this happening, it's not like the truck driver actually broke the law.
    He just got unlucky.
    I don't think there are any standard methods to check wheel bolt durability, before you set out. Short of going to a mechanic.

    Avatar of Zelgadis4tw
    Comment by Zelgadis4tw
    14:55 27/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0) least in the USA you are supposed to check and see whether or not your vehicle is safe to drive every time. Durability is one thing, but the judge probably had the impression that the wheel studs were worn in a way that "should have been obvious". Having said that I also don't see how it would "be obvious" that the wheel was in danger of snapping off the bolts.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:22 28/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Actually, the law says TO A REASONABLE DEGREE. Most states define that as making sure that your windows are clear of any frost, that you have side-view mirrors (on a car that comes with them standard), etc.

    Not something like examining for BROKEN BOLTS on a tire.... which, by the way, is the responsibility of the person who does the MAINTENANCE on the truck, 18 wheeler or otherwise.

    The judge should have asked him "Who the heck does your maintenance?!" and gone after them! Now, if he does his OWN maintenance and has changed his OWN tires.... then I can understand this ruling, because he would have had to have been BLIND to not see those broken bolts.... unless they broke at speed, which has happened to more people than I would like to mention who drive 18 wheelers and other big trucks for a living.

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:22 27/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Is the bus ok?

    Comment by Anonymous
    Comment by Anonymous
    08:41 27/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    That bus is made of so much win.

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:31 17/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    party bus desu~

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:45 27/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Itasha liner ftw!
    Sucks about the accident, though.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:50 27/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Only thing about the liner is it needs moar desu.

    Hmm, that would be one of the stranger ways to die. "oh look, thats a......"

    Bad that people got killed, but I imagine it could of been a lot worse, what with a truck being involved.

    Comment by SnooSnoo
    10:54 27/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Can a tire really kill? Any description on the force in which the tire LAZER-d at the bus? Or did the driver really drove a (monster) truck?

    Comment by Alaudia
    12:34 27/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    watch some mythbusters, a tire can decapitate a person

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:19 27/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    It's also, or at least was, very cery common for racers to be decapitated by a stray wheel in F1.

    I think it's less common now though, because they channged the way they fix them, to prevent such accidents.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:59 27/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I gran was killed by a motor cycle tyre than had been rather discourtiously discarded. So, the answer is yes.

    Comment by Kibate
    12:04 27/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    i agree, apperently, according to this article, he knew about these broken bolts

    its like trying to fly with a plane with only one wing

    Comment by NTX
    12:23 27/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    It says he 'overlooked' it, as in failed to notice, so he probably wasn't aware. But routine maintanance is required for trucks. It's the same as a plane crashing because a screw was loose somewhere. Saying it was an accident doesn't cut it. Love your machine and it will love you back.

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:39 27/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Has anyone considered other possbilities? Such as:

    (a) the company who _owned_ the truck was being cheap by omitting reasonable maintenance and inspections? (The driver is just a driver, not a mechanic! Or is this untrue in Japan?)

    (b) the truck manufacturer made a truck with a defective design, and/or defective materials. I recall some years back there was a scandal where a major Japanese vehicle manufacturer tried covering up defects in their small lorries which resulted in wheel-detachment-and-consequent-accidents-ending-in-death. I think the company eventually admitted fault, apologized profusely, and some executives resigned or were fired, etc.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:22 27/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Actualy, it's fiarly normal, even in England for a truck driver to own their own truck/do mentanence.

    Typicaly, you are responsible for everything to do with that truck, from maintanence to fuel.
    Although genraly costs are covered by your contractor.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:26 28/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Yes, most people own their own trucks.... but they do NOT do their own maintenance.... they pay someone to do it for them in most cases, or at least that is how it is done in the United States.

    Comment by NTX
    23:23 27/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I'm sure they looked into those before they sentenced him, otherwise he had the WORST DEFENSE LAWYER EVER. As he was still sentenced, he probably privately owned the truck, maybe he was a one man moving company or something.

    Comment by NTX
    10:26 28/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I don't see how WORST DEFENSE LAWYER EVER could be an understatement. I even capitalized it D:

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:29 28/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Uh........ Worst defense lawyer ever in this case is an understatement. I can think of 5 or so alternative explanations that do NOT involve negligence on this guys part.

    Number one: the bolts broke on their own because of defects in the bolts.... and an inspection would not have helped. Unless they did that special examination with microscopes.... they cannot know that, and that is NOT a normal part of an investigation.

    Number two: he was paying someone else to do his maintenance, and they 'cheaped out' by using bolts that were defective (maybe not knowing that they were defective) or had been priorly used.

    Number three: the bolts just broke at speed because of tire imbalance or other factors (this happens more often on big 18 wheelers than you would like to believe, according to my uncle's friend who used to drive 18 wheelers).

    Comment by NTX
    11:27 27/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Negligence leading to accidental injury or death's always been illegal. That's manslaughter. I actually can't believe he's only getting 20 months and a 5k fine. Kind of cheap for a human life, I'd be rolling in my grave if they didn't at least add on a hundred hours community service.

    Comment by NTX
    Comment by MaimeDaifuku
    11:01 27/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    No, he deserved to be jailed. If you drive commercial, you cant take anything lightly. A broken bolt = broken vehicle.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:25 28/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    But again, you are forgetting that something like this is not necessarily going to be obvious, and the law says, even over in Japan, that something has to be OBVIOUS danger for someone to be convicted of a crime like involuntary manslaughter.

    Personally, I would appeal the case if I was him. Sure, there is a lot of 'outrage' over this.... but outrage makes for stupid juries and stupid judges. This is a textbook case of both the former and the latter.

    Avatar of Aoshi_88
    Comment by Aoshi

    People died-desuuuuuuuuuuuuu

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:40 27/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I feel bad because that made me laugh-.-

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:32 28/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    ... dont feel bad because it made you laugh feel bad because some one died and you laughed

    Comment by Anonymous

    people die when they are killed

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