THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
May 8, 2019 at 17:00 JST
OTSU--Two toddlers were killed and two were in serious condition on May 8 after a car crashed into a group of children who were taking a stroll with day-care center staff.
Two day-care workers and 13 children were taken to hospital. The dead and seriously injured children were either 2 or 3 years old. One of the injured children has regained consciousness, police said.
According to officers at the Otsu Police Station, an accident between two vehicles at an intersection apparently caused one of them to veer into the children who were waiting on the sidewalk.
The two women driving the cars, aged 52 and 62, were arrested on suspicion of negligent driving resulting in injury.
A witness said a mini-vehicle hit a car trying to make a right turn at the intersection, and the momentum propelled the mini-vehicle into the group, according to police.
The accident took place on a road along the coast of Lake Biwa.
A man who works at a nearby gym said he witnessed the accident through a window. One of the cars was diverted onto the sidewalk and pinned a number of bleeding children on a fence, he said.
The accident site was littered with water bottles likely used by the children.
The man said he tried to help the children until the ambulance arrived.
The children and the day-care center workers took daily morning walks in the area where the accident occurred.
"They were always walking in such good spirits that I could never imagine an accident like this occurring," the gym worker said.
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