Okinawa police seeking car involved in fatal hit-and-run
Stars and Stripes August 18, 2006
OKINAWA CITY — Okinawa police have asked for help locating the car involved in an Aug. 11 fatal hit-and-run accident in Okinawa city’s Matsumoto district.
Minoru Shimabukuro, 50, a road maintenance worker, was struck by a car from behind at about 10:15 a.m. as he tried to enter his pickup truck, which was parked on the side of the street, said spokesman Hisao Kinjo, Community Traffic section, Okinawa Police Station. The accident site is on a city road near the Naha District Court’s Okinawa branch. The car, which witnesses identified as either a black or dark-color Toyota Corolla or Sprinter with a spoiler on the trunk lid, sped from the scene, Kinjo said.
Shimabukuro was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead from brain injuries at 3:33 p.m. that day, Kinjo said.
Shimabukuro was trimming shrubbery with others in a maintenance crew, but because the accident happened during their break time, he was by himself on the road shoulder, police said.
“The car’s left-fender mirror was broken in the accident,” Kinjo said, adding that the left front portion of the vehicle also could be damaged.
“We are asking cooperation from all the owners of cars of the same types to allow the police to check their vehicles,” Kinjo said. Police have set up checkpoints on most of the major roads on the island, he said, and all auto-parts stores and car-repair shops have been alerted to notify police of any suspicious customers.
“We have also asked U.S. military authorities for cooperation,” he said.
To contact the Okinawa Police Station, call 098-932-0110 and ask for “interpreter” for an English-speaking officer.