Japanese motorist dies following accident involving US military vehicle
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan – A Japanese motorist is dead following an accident involving a U.S. military vehicle near Naval Air Facility Atsugi.
The accident, involving a 7-ton Marine Corps Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement and a Japanese civilian vehicle, happened shortly after 1 p.m. Wednesday, according to a Marine Corps news release.
The military vehicle was travelling on the Tomei Expressway in Kanagawa Prefecture from U.S. Army Depot Sagamihara to Camp Fuji at the time of the crash, the news release said.
The car struck the center median and then careened over to the shoulder when it was struck by the truck driven by a 20-year-old Camp Fuji servicemember, according to Japanese police.
Motoko Arai, 34, a nurse from Yokohama was taken to a nearby hospital where she was pronounced dead at 3:50 p.m., according to a Kanagawa Prefecture police spokesman.
The car's driver, identified as Ryohei Yamada, a 25-year-old nurse from Tokyo, was seriously injured, police said. The servicemember did not sustain serious injuries, according to police.
“The circumstances and cause of the traffic accident are under investigation by Japanese traffic and law enforcement personnel and a military investigative team on scene from U.S. Army Camp Zama,” the news release said.
Japanese and U.S. investigators will be permitted to question the driver, who was to return to Camp Fuji, the news release said.
“The commanders and Marines of Marine Corps Installations Pacific and… Camp Fuji are deeply saddened by the death and injury to the members of our valued and respected community and host-nation,” the news release said.
Stars and Stripes reporters Erik Slavin and Chiyomi Sumida contributed to this report.
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