Okinawa: Man Dies in Crash with Truck Driven by US Marine

A Japanese driver's damaged vehicle sits at a police station in Naha, Okinawa, on Sunday, Nov. 19. Police are investigating the fatal traffic accident that involved a U.S. Marine driving a truck. (Kazuki Sawada/Kyodo News via AP)
A Japanese driver's damaged vehicle sits at a police station in Naha, Okinawa, on Sunday, Nov. 19. Police are investigating the fatal traffic accident that involved a U.S. Marine driving a truck. (Kazuki Sawada/Kyodo News via AP)

TOKYO -- Police on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa are investigating a fatal traffic accident that occurred Sunday when a truck driven by a U.S. Marine collided with a small truck at an intersection, killing the Japanese driver of the other vehicle.

The Marine was slightly injured in the 5:30 a.m. crash in Naha, the main city in Okinawa, said Kazuhiko Miyagi of the Okinawa police. He confirmed Japanese media reports that a breath test indicated the Marine had an alcohol level that was three times the legal limit.

The incident could fuel opposition to the U.S. military presence on Okinawa, where about 25,000 American troops are stationed.

The victim was a 61-year-old man. He was making a turn when his vehicle was hit by the Marine's truck, which was coming from the opposite direction, according to Japanese media. Witness accounts indicate that the Japanese driver had the right of way, and that the Marine may have gone through a red light, the media reports said.

The names of the two drivers have not been released.

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