Kadena Air Base is home to the 18th Fighter Wing in Okinawa, Japan.

Kadena Air Base is home to the 18th Fighter Wing in Okinawa, Japan. (Carlos Vazquez/Stars and Stripes)

CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa – A civilian contractor working on Okinawa was arrested Sunday morning after a deadly collision with a motorcyclist on the southern island prefecture.

Nicholas Christenson, 38, was charged with negligent driving resulting in death or injury after colliding with a motorcycle driven by Isao Toriumi, 39, of Urasoe, at approximately 8 a.m., according to an Okinawa Police spokesman who spoke on a customary condition of anonymity.

Christenson was heading south on Route 58 when he took a right-hand turn toward the seawall at the Sunabe intersection near Kadena Air Base’s Gate 1, the spokesman said. He attempted to cut across the lane of Toriumi, who was heading north on Route 58.

Toriumi was thrown into a convenience store parking lot, where he struck a parked taxi, the spokesman said. Japanese police told Stars and Stripes that Christenson told officers he was employed at Kadena; however, the Air Force later said he works for the Army and Air Force Exchange Service at Camp Hansen, a Marine base.

The case will be referred to Okinawa prosecutors Monday, the spokesman said. Alcohol is not believed to be a factor.

author picture
Matthew M. Burke has been reporting from Grafenwoehr, Germany, for Stars and Stripes since 2024. The Massachusetts native and UMass Amherst alumnus previously covered Okinawa, Sasebo Naval Base and Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, for the news organization. His work has also appeared in the Boston Globe, Cape Cod Times and other publications.

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive a daily email of today's top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign Up Now