Bus Company Pres. Indicted over 2016 Fatal Crash in Nagano


Nagano, Jan. 21 (Jiji Press)--The Nagano District Public Prosecutors Office on Thursday indicted without arrest the president of bus company ESP over a 2016 deadly ski tour bus crash in central Japan.

The office indicted Misaku Takahashi, 59, president of the Tokyo-based company, for professional negligence causing death or injury. Former ESP employee Tsuyoshi Arai, 52, who was responsible for the tour operation, was also indicted without arrest on the same charges.

The accident happened on a downward curve of a mountain pass in Karuizawa, Nagano, in the small hours of Jan. 15, 2016, killing 15 people, including 13 university students and the driver at the wheel, while injuring 26.

According to the indictments, the prosecutors office concluded that the accident occurred because Takahashi and Arai had the driver, then 65, do the job without giving him appropriate training while knowing that he was not used to driving a large bus.

The accident happened a half month after the driver joined the company. He said in a job interview that he was not good at driving large buses, informed sources said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press