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Tuba City Arizona

Three Members of Hirayama Family Killed, One Critically Injured in Accident

Van O'Steen

March 31, 2014

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Tuba City, Arizona—Tomohiro Hirayama, age 50, Sachiyo Hirayama, age 42, and their son, Yuki Hirayama, age 16, were killed Friday in a car crash on the Navajo Reservation.  A fourth member of the family, Rinka, age 9, was critically injured and transported to a Phoenix hospital for treatment of her injuries.

The accident resulted from a Navajo Police chase on U.S. 160.   Officers reportedly were chasing two suspects in a pickup truck who had been observed driving erratically, when the truck crossed the highway center-line and struck the Hirayama’s van.   The truck burst into flames, burning to death the two occupants.

Police chases sometimes end tragically for innocent victims, as it did for the Hirayama family. Law enforcement agencies may be held liable for injuries and deaths to uninvolved people when police officers act unreasonably in pursuing other drivers.

The Hirayama family lived in Lincolnshire, Illinois.  They were visiting Arizona for spring break. 

Relatives from Japan are en route to Phoenix to be with Rinka. 

We extend our condolences to the extended Hirayama family at this time of enormous loss for them, and we wish Rinka a swift and complete recovery. 

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