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Eyewitness recounts 4WD crash

The 4WD accident claimed the life of Japanese tourist, Takeshi Sakai.
The 4WD accident claimed the life of Japanese tourist, Takeshi Sakai.

“BLOODY idiots, they’re going to crash.”

Those were the thoughts of Peter Maywald as he watched a 4WD speed past him in December of last year on a Fraser Island beach.

His thoughts proved prophetic as moments later the vehicle began somersaulting and spinning like a top.

Mr Maywald’s comments were central to evidence he gave yesterday at the Hervey Bay inquest into the accident that claimed the life of 25-year-old Takeshi Sakai.

The eyewitness also revealed that he estimated the 4WD to be travelling at 120kmh, faster than any vehicle he had ever seen driving on the beach.

While the vehicle was thought to be speeding, there was further damning evidence provided to the court by Sergeant Steve Webb of the Wide Bay Forensic Crash Unit.

Sgt Webb said Takeshi Sakai had been skylarking moments before the event, with his legs hanging out the window.

“He was obviously unrestrained in the vehicle, as were a number of others,” he said.

Sgt Webb said it was uncertain whether any of the group were wearing seatbelts as a few had injuries consistent with being thrown from the vehicle.

“Some had broken facial bones and scrapes on their faces … and grazes,” he said.

“I’ve got no doubt that if he’d been wearing a seatbelt, he’d be here today.”

He said the driver, Takashi Nukutou, 29, should have faced serious criminal charges before he went back to Japan.

“I believe there would be sufficient evidence for perhaps a charge of dangerous operation causing death.”

While there were eight passengers in the vehicle when it crashed it was only fitted out with seven seats, the court heard.


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