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SECURITY > Okinawa

U.S. serviceman arrested for allegedly causing fatal car accident

  • May 28, 2018
  • , Ryukyu Shimpo , p. 26
  • JMH Translation

A passenger car collided head-on with a motorcycle on National Route 331 in Teniya, Nago City, at around 2:10 p.m. on May 27. Tetsuya Kuniyoshi [sp.?], a self-employed 45-year-old resident of the Tobaru district of Okinawa City, who was riding the motorcycle, was killed in the collision. The Nago Police arrested the driver of the car, 21-year-old Mario Ambriz Camacho [sp.?], a corporal stationed at U.S. Marine Corps Camp Hansen, on suspicion of negligent driving resulting in injury. The police will investigate the accident by switching the charge to negligent driving resulting in death.


According to the police, Ambriz Camacho said he “turned the steering wheel to the left to avoid the motorcycle, which was driving near the center line, but skidded and veered into the opposite lane of traffic.” The Nago police are investigating the cause of the accident, believing that the passenger car traveling from the direction of Nago City’s Kayo district to Higashi Village strayed into the opposite lane and collided with the motorcycle.


The accident took place on a curve on a road with one lane in each direction. The police say Ambriz Camacho was off duty and driving with no passenger. The front of his vehicle was severely damaged but caused no injury to the Marine.


Kuniyoshi is believed to have been riding the motorcycle alone. He suffered a cardiopulmonary arrest and was transported to a hospital in the center of Okinawa’s main island on a medical helicopter with a doctor aboard. But he was pronounced dead about two hours later.


The U.S. has the primary right to exercise jurisdiction for accidents involving on-duty U.S. servicemen. On the other hand, the U.S. serviceman who caused the latest Nago accident was off duty and is detained at the Nago Police Station. So Japan has the primary right to exercise jurisdiction. If U.S. servicemenbers not on duty cause accidents, damage compensation is determined through out-of-court negotiations with offenders. If that fails, the U.S. government pays compensation on behalf of offenders.

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