Kyoto Driver Who Played Pokémon Go Just Before Fatal Accident Found Guilty
posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
The Kyoto District Court found 48-year-old former driver Hiroki Negami guilty on Tuesday and sentenced him to one year and six months in prison, although the sentence is suspended for five years so he will not serve time if he remains on good behavior. Negami had been accused of causing the death of a 39-year-old woman in a traffic accident, just after playing the Pokémon Go game in traffic.
The incident took place in September in Nagaokakyo, Kyoto, when Negami, driving his truck-mounted crane, halted at a red light at an intersection. He later began moving again, but in doing so rear-ended a woman riding her minibike, dragging her for around 130 meters and resulting in the death of the woman.
Negami testified during the trial that he was not playing the game at the time of the collision, and that he did not notice that he had rear-ended the minibike.
In giving the verdict on Tuesday, the presiding judge acknowledged that while the minibike was positioned in a place where Negami could not see the vehicle, he could have easily checked the monitors in his own vehicle to see the minibike. Negami thus failed to assess the safety of his own vehicle.
Negami's lawyer said that they do not plan to launch an appeal.
The Pokémon Go iOS and Android app launched in select countries including the United States and Japan last July, and has since launched in more than 100 countries and territories.