Atsugi sailor injures Japanese family of six in car accident
July 5, 2006
YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — Two people are in the hospital after a U.S. sailor crashed into a van carrying a Japanese family of six in Yokosuka on Sunday night.
The sailor, Petty Officer 3rd Class Jeremy Ryan Vandermeulen, was driving under the influence of alcohol, according to a spokesman for Kanagawa prefectural police.
Vandermeulen, 24, is assigned to Naval Air Facility Atsugi. He was driving his car on Highway 134 in Yokosuka’s Nagai district around 9:30 p.m. when he swerved into the oncoming lane of traffic, the spokesman said. His car collided with a van carrying a 41-year-old Yokohama woman, her husband and their four children. The woman’s 6-year-old son fractured his thighbone and is in the local hospital, he said.
The other people in the van sustained bruises that will require two weeks of medical treatment, the police said.
Vandermeulen fractured a rib in the accident and is currently recovering at Atsugi’s Branch Medical Clinic, the spokesman said.
The sailor’s blood alcohol level was 0.6 milligrams of alcohol per liter, which exceeds Japan’s legal limit of 0.15 milligrams per liter, police said.
The accident is under investigation and Japanese police will question Vandermeulen after he recovers from his broken rib, the spokesman added.
Commander, Naval Forces Japan issued a news release Monday saying that the U.S. Navy “deeply regrets this unfortunate incident and extends its most sincere sympathies to the family involved.”