(IBARAKI PREFECTURE, Japan) -- One of three men who were pronounced dead by police after their car collided with a utility pole along a national highway in Juomachi, Ibaraki Prefecture, on Sunday was later discovered to be alive at the local police station.
In the accident, which occurred at about 2 a.m., all three men, Takuya Tokizaki, 22, a stonemason; Takashi Iwase, 22, unemployed; and Takehiko Iida, 21, an apprentice hairstylist, were thrown from the vehicle. The three are from Takahagi in the prefecture.
Tokizaki and Iwase died of head injuries shortly afterward.
After the accident, police initially were unable to find Iida, who was lying in 20 centimeters of water in an irrigation ditch about 10 meters away.
Police found Iida about four hours after the accident and determined that he was dead since he had no detectable pulse or heart beat.
Iida was then transported to the Takahagi Police Station, and police announced that all three men had died in the traffic accident.
However, about one hour later, police noticed that Iida was moving slightly. After police performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation his pulse could be detected and his breathing became noticeable. Iida was taken by ambulance to a hospital, where he is in critical condition.
According to Prof. Yoshinobu Sato of Kyorin University, it is highly likely that Iida fell into a comatose state triggered by the cold water in the ditch.
Takahagi Police Station Chief Seishiro Komori said the legal pronouncement of death is made by physicians who are responsible for conducting autopsies. However, Komori said: "Police officers at the scene determined that Iida was dead after ascertaining that he had no pulse. They did nothing wrong in taking him to the police station."
(iSyndicate; The Daily Yomiuri; Nov. 14, 2000). Terms and Conditions: Copyright(c) 2000 LEXIS-NEXIS, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights Reserved.