Van Rollover Accident Leads to Wrongful Death Suit

A wrongful death suit has been filed by the family of a Japanese couple that died in a rollover accident in a tour van in Utah. 

Junji and Junko Hoshino were killed while on vacation in Las Vegas in August 2010, where they were taking a four-day tour of national parks in nearby Utah.

On August 9, the tour van they were traveling in hit the median on Interstate 15 north of Cedar City, causing the van to roll over multiple times. Junko Hoshino was ejected from the vehicle and Junji was partially ejected during the fatal auto accident.

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The complaint was filed by Junji’s younger brother, Makato Hoshino, and Junko’s mother, Masako Kimura, against Canyon Transportation, Canyon Transportation Charter Services LLC, Western Leisure, Inc., Nippon Travel Agency Company, Ltd., Nippon Travel Agency America, Inc. and the van’s driver, Yashushi Mikuni.

According to the lawsuit, Mikuni, 26 at the time, was working as both tour guide and driver, giving him little time to rest. The lawsuit claims Mikuni was constantly tired during the tour and consumed energy drinks and chewed caffeinated gum to stay awake. The lawsuit also notes that marijuana was detected in his system shortly after the accident and that Mikuni needed to wear glasses, but did not. Mikuni plead guilty to three charges of operating a vehicle causing injury or death in May.

The lawsuit also claims that neither Canyon Transportation nor Western Leisure actually had a license to conduct interstate transportation. The companies ran the tour van service and hired Mikuni.


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