KYOTO—Eight people were killed and 10 were injured after a speeding minicar ran a red light and plowed into a crowd of pedestrians in a tourist area of this ancient capital on April 12.
The incident occurred near the crossing of Shijodori and Yamato Oji streets in Kyoto's Higashiyama Ward just after 1 p.m.
Shingo Fujisaki, the 30-year-old driver of the minicar, was found unconscious and in critical condition after the vehicle smashed into a utility pole about 300 meters from the crossing, police said. Fujisaki, from Kyoto’s Nishikyo Ward, was later pronounced dead.
He has been treated for epilepsy, a hospital official in Kyoto said at a news conference, but it was not known if the condition was a factor in the incident.
Two men and five women who were crossing the street were also confirmed dead, police said.
Several of the injured pedestrians were in critical condition.
Investigators said the car failed to stop at a red light and sped north on Yamato Oji street before running into the pedestrians at the east-west crossing.
According to witnesses, many ambulances and fire engines rushed to the scene, where shoes and bags lay scattered on the ground. Police officers were directing traffic away from the area.
The incident occurred in the middle of a busy commercial quarter to the east of Shijo Ohashi bridge. The area is close to Yasakajinja shrine, famed for its cherry blossoms, the Gion district, known for its high-end Japanese restaurants, and Shijo Kawaramachi, a major shopping destination.
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