An overnight bus on its way to a hot springs resort located in the Prefecture of Ishikawa slammed into two parked trucks at a rest stop in Oyabe, Toyama Prefecture. The accident left two people dead, including the bus driver, and many others injured.
According to initial investigations, a witness saw the bus speeding as it cruised into the rest area. It first hit the back of a truck owned by 62-year old Kunio Moriyama. After which, it crashed into the second truck driven by 42-year old Junichi Omori, wrecking the driver’s compartment. Miraculously, Moriyama only received minor injuries and Omori was unhurt. However, the bus driver, 37-year old Kazuya Obata and 48-year old schoolteacher Yoshihiro Ono were not as fortunate. Both were instantly killed. 24 other people, mostly passengers of the bus and a truck driver, were brought to the hospital for treatment.
According to Masaki Aonuma, president of the Miyagi Transportation Corp, operator of the bus that crashed, Obata was suffering from possible sleep apnea and required constant monitoring, but other health checks made indicated no such concern on his health. The company also said that on board with Obata was a 53-year old substitute driver, which rotates with him on driving duties. Obata just started his turn two and a half hours before the accident took place and was in fact about to pause for his break after passing the area. Obata had been with Miyagi Transport Corp since 2007, and been driving expressway buses since 2011. The president of the company has already expressed its apologies, saying he was “deeply sorry for the accident.”