” I am Innocent” Defendant Said on Lake Inawashiro Accident that Killed a 10-Year-Old Boy and Severely Injured His Mother | FRIDAY DIGITAL

” I am Innocent” Defendant Said on Lake Inawashiro Accident that Killed a 10-Year-Old Boy and Severely Injured His Mother

The trial took an unexpected turn. ...... A third-grader playing in the lake was caught up in the accident and killed. The mother went to trial with both knees amputated and artificial legs.

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The defendant Sato before the fatal accident. He lived in a tower apartment in Kachidoki and led a lavish personal life.

I’d like to know the truth, too. If I really ran over him, I should apologize. But even now that Tsuyoshi has been released on bail, he still says, ‘I don’t think it was me. There is a possibility that it was another boat. If there was an accident, the impact would be felt on the steering wheel, and I’ve been on a boat for more than 10 years, so I should be able to tell right away.

I’ve been on a boat for more than 10 years, so I should be able to tell right away,’ said a relative of Tsuyoshi Sato, 44, the president of a civil engineering company who was killed or injured in a pleasure boat accident at Lake Inawashiro (Aizuwakamatsu City, Fukushima Prefecture). On September 6, 2008, a large boat driven by the defendant Sato rammed into Eita Toyoda, 8, and his mother, 36, who were floating on the surface of the lake with life jackets on, waiting for their turn to water ski. Eita died and his mother was severely injured, having both legs amputated. One year after the accident, the Fukushima Prefectural Police identified the boat and arrested Sato on suspicion of manslaughter. A reporter for a national newspaper said, “Sato has been consistent since his arrest.

Sato had consistently denied the charges, saying he had no recollection of the incident. But at his first trial on December 27 last year, he said, ‘I admit that I took the victim’s precious life and seriously injured him. I will not fight it. I am truly sorry for what I did. I apologize deeply to the victims and their families,” he said, acknowledging the fact of the accident. However, he denied the charge of negligence, saying, “I did not see the victim. The video of him running away with a panicked voice saying ‘Oh no’ and the fact that he was trying to keep quiet, which was reported as a decisive factor in his arrest, were not found in the prosecutor’s statement and are believed to have never existed.

Eidai’s mother, who came to the trial with a prosthetic leg, said after the court closed, “I was relieved for the time being (when Sato admitted that he caused the accident). However, the story is not that simple. One of the relatives mentioned above said.

He was troubled right up to the moment. If he apologized, it would be like admitting that he did it. But his lawyer’s strategy was to first admit that he caused the accident and then try to get him released on bail. Tsuyoshi has now returned to his home in Iwaki City, where he is having discussions with his lawyer for the next trial, and is also doing his own research on the accident to see if he really did it.

On the other hand, Eidai’s parents, who were watching the trial, broke down in tears when the prosecutor described how they found part of their son’s body two days after the accident. After the court adjourned, the father spoke to the press, his voice quivering and strained.

When I saw my son floating in the water, I could not believe what I was seeing. When I saw my son floating in the water, his body was torn to shreds and I knew immediately that he was not breathing. How could Eidai, who was so cute, have to become like that? ……”

Water accidents are much more difficult to prove than road accidents. Bloodstains and hair on the boat, which can be used as evidence, were washed away by the water, and there was no video from the security camera that captured the moment of the accident. The defendant Sato’s claim that he was not negligent was probably a strategy to take advantage of the difficulty in proving his case. Mr. Yoji Ochiai, a lawyer and former prosecutor of the Public Security Bureau of the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office, said.

He said, “Since the accident occurred on the water, it is not easy to identify the scene and it is not possible to recreate the scene. It is very difficult to prove manslaughter unless there is solid evidence that the boat driven by Sato caused the victim’s death. The outcome of the trial will depend on whether or not the defendant Sato was aware of the negligence.

Even if there was contact, if it is admitted that the defendant Sato was unable to recognize the victim floating on the surface of the water, there is a high possibility that he will be acquitted. Even if the defendant admits to some of the charges at the first trial, he can change his plea later and say, ‘I did not run over the victim.

Eidai’s parents expressed their grief, saying, “We really feel that Eidai will never come back. I wonder if the day will come when the truth will be revealed. ……

The parents watched the first trial with Eidai’s remains in their arms. The mother tearfully said, “If it were true, he should have been snowboarding by now.
The boat that Sato was driving on the day of the accident. Several other boats were also sailing at the scene, making it difficult to identify them.

From “FRIDAY” February 25, 2022 issue

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