Misawa city police say airman was involved in fatal crash
Stars and Stripes May 12, 2004
MISAWA, Japan — A 66-year-old Japanese woman died after her van collided Sunday evening with a vehicle driven by a 19-year-old Misawa Air Base airman — the second fatal Misawa city vehicle accident since April involving a U.S. servicemember.
Killed Sunday was Atsuko Niiyama of Rokunohe in Aomori, according to an Aomori police spokesman in Misawa.
Niiyama was attempting to make a right turn at an intersection in Misawa’s Matsuzono district at about 7:23 p.m. when an oncoming car collided with her van, police said. The American driving the other vehicle is a member of the 35th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at Misawa Air Base, according to a base news release issued late Monday afternoon.
Base and police officials would not release the airman’s name.
Niiyama died at 2:56 a.m. at Misawa City Hospital from massive head injuries, the police spokesman said.
Police said the airman, who was not injured, was wearing a seatbelt; Niiyama was not. Alcohol was not a factor in the accident, the police spokesman said.
No arrests have been made; police are investigating the accident’s cause, the spokesman said.
“Misawa Air Base officials are cooperating with the Japanese National Police in conducting a thorough investigation,” said base officials in a news release. “Misawa Air Base leadership deeply regrets this unfortunate accident and extends their most sincere sympathy to those involved in the accident and their families.”
On April 3, Misawa resident Kunizo Kuzumasa, 69, was killed after the car in which he was riding collided with a vehicle driven by a 19-year-old Navy seaman from Misawa Naval Air Facility.