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Motorcycle hits police car, passenger injured

Date Posted: 2012-03-09

A motorcyclist being pursued by police lost control and crashed into a police car, injuring an 18-year-old girl riding on the back of the bike.

Okinawa Police are in the process of cracking down on motorcycles engaging in reckless driving and driving side-by-side, and were chasing the motorcycle driven by 23-year-old Ryu Kozuka on Prefectural Road 85 in Okinawa City’s Yamauchi district at 3 a.m. when the collision occurred. Kozuka, a painter, was driving without a license, and disregarded police orders to stop. He reduced speed and tried to pull in behind the police car but instead crashed into the patrol vehicle and fell down.

Kozuka was injured slightly, but his passenger riding behind him was seriously injured. He’s been charged with driving without a license.

Police say there have been 40-50 vehicles, including motorcycles, that repeatedly engage in reckless driving, including ignoring traffic signals on Highway 58, and police have been tracking them. Hiroki Miyagi, an Okinawa Police Vice Commander, says “tracking patrol cars are instructed to keep a certain distance from vehicles they are tracking, so we consider there’s no problem with the practice.”

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