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Marine said to have admitted driving hit-and-run car in Naha

Date Posted: 2009-04-16

Japanese police say a U.S. Marine has admitted to being the driver of a vehicle involved in a hit-and-run accident at a traffic crosswalk on Highway 58 in downtown Naha’s Matsuyama District April 4th.

Police say they’re investigating the case, but plan to build its case of suspicion of negligence resulting in injury, as well as a traffic law violation. Police have not released the name of the Marine, or of a passenger said to be in the vehicle at the time of the accident. The car carried a Y-license plate used by U.S. military personnel and their families. Three people were injured in the incident. The car fled the scene, but was found later in Kin.

One of the injured men says a military representative visited him in the hospital, telling him “the boss of the car driver wants to apologize to you.” The victim said he told the man he wanted “the driver himself to come and apologies to me”, asking who’s going to pay his hospital bill. “Do they pay me compensation? If I didn’t get in the car accident, I would be working. I want them to give me back my time,” he said.

The Ministry of Self Defense says if the accident happened while the military man was off duty, the individual would have to make compensation directly to the victims. If the Marine was on duty, then it would become a difficult negotiation issue for the U.S. Government.

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