The defendant of “drunk driving that killed and injured four people” who went to two izakayas (Japanese-style pubs) without apologizing, saying that he thought he hit a utility pole. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

The defendant of “drunk driving that killed and injured four people” who went to two izakayas (Japanese-style pubs) without apologizing, saying that he thought he hit a utility pole.

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Defendant Inoki was arrested after killing and injuring four people while driving drunk (Image: Jiji Press)

He went to two izakayas and two snack bars, drank a lot of draft beer and highballs, and drove his car. There was no way this kind of behavior would be tolerated.

On July 3, the Osaka High Court rejected an appeal by Yasuyuki Inoki, 50, who is accused of causing death by dangerous driving, and sentenced him to 10 years in prison. In December 2010, Inoki drove while intoxicated after drinking for more than four hours, hit four men from a neighborhood association who were on night patrol in Sakai City, Osaka Prefecture, and fled.

During the trial that began in March 2011, Inoki denied the charges, claiming that he did not know whether the accident was caused by alcohol. However, the Osaka High Court ruled that he was driving dangerously under the influence of alcohol. The Osaka High Court upheld the 10-year sentence handed down by the first trial court.

In an article distributed on January 18, 2011, FRIDAY Digital reported in detail on the drunken driving accident that Inoki caused after consuming a large amount of alcohol. We would like to reproduce the article and look back at the defendant’s appalling statements and surprising words and actions before and after the accident (some content has been modified).

I was not aware that I hit anyone.

I am sure I caused the accident and drove away, but I thought I hit a telephone pole or something. I was not aware that I had hit anyone. I don’t think it was a hit-and-run accident.

The man’s statement to the police was blatantly contradicted by a fact that came to light. On January 16, 2011, media reports revealed that the man had been drinking at two Japanese-style pubs just before the accident. It is highly likely that he was in a drunken state.

The accident occurred on a city street in Sakai City, Osaka Prefecture, just after 11:30 a.m. on December 27, 2010. The defendant, Inoki, was arrested. He allegedly hit four men, all in their 40s, who were on night patrol, with his car, killing two and slightly injuring two others. The defendant, Inoki, drove away without taking appropriate action.

Eight men from the local neighborhood association were on patrol. The city street at the scene was one lane on each side and about 6 m wide, and the eight men formed a double line and appealed to residents in the neighborhood to be careful of fire. Inoki’s car approached the patrol at a high rate of speed from behind and hit the four men one after another. Inoki was apparently asleep at the wheel.

The two men who died were walking at the rear of the car. The autopsy revealed that both men had broken bones in their heads. They must have been hit hard from the head to the ground by the impact of being hit. There were no brake marks at the scene, so it is believed that the driver did not slow down and hit the four people.

The municipal road in Sakai City where the accident took place (Image: Kyodo News)

The day after the accident, police found a sports-type utility vehicle (SUV), which closely resembled the getaway car caught on multiple security cameras, in a parking lot of a house about 700 meters from the scene. The owner was defendant Inoki.

Inoki denied some of the charges, saying, “I thought I hit a utility pole. However, there is no utility pole near the accident site. At the time of his arrest, he had not even apologized to the victim.

The morning after the accident, Inoki was seen heading to work in his work clothes. Inoki admitted that he had been drinking just before the accident, but since he was arrested late at night on December 28, almost a full day after the accident, no alcohol was detected in his breathalyzer test.

According to the police, it is known that around 8:00 p.m. on the night of the accident, Inoki entered his favorite izakaya alone. He drank more than eight draft beers and highballs in total and left the restaurant after 10 pm. Inoki staggered to another izakaya, drank more alcohol, and apparently caused the accident.

The testimony of the owner of the first izakaya also reveals a serious lie on the part of defendant Inoki. When the owner asked the defendant if he had come by car, he denied it. The next morning, he received a phone call from the defendant saying, ‘I hit a telephone pole on my way home. When the owner asked if it was a person, he explained that it was a telephone pole.

Two years have passed since the vicious accident that claimed the lives of two people. Two years have passed since the vicious accident that took two lives, and a verdict has finally been handed down in a judicial proceeding.

It is known that the suspect went to two izakayas just before the accident (photo is an image only; PHOTO: AFLO)
  • PHOTO Asahi Shimbun / Jiji Press, Kyodo News, Afro

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