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3 Killed in 5-Vehicle, Multi-Lane Expressway Collision in Central Japan

Three people were killed and several injured with one in critical condition following a five-vehicle collision on an expressway in Mie Prefecture, central Japan, local media and police officials said on Monday.

According to local police, the accident occurred at 2:30 a.m. local time on Monday, on the four-lane Higashi-Meihan Expressway in Kameyama, Mie Prefecture, and involved a collision between a midsize truck and a minivan.

A large truck then reportedly hit smaller vehicles and the central divider, and the truck’s cargo of plastic bottles were spilled onto the road. This caused a minicar traveling in the opposite direction on the outbound lane to come to an abrupt halt, leading to a passenger vehicle unavoidably ramming it at speed from behind, according to the local police and media.

Eight people were rushed to the hospital following first responders’ arrival at the scene, with the 53-year-old driver of the midsize truck and the couple in the passenger vehicle, both in their 80s, killed in the crash.

Four others were injured in the collision. The female driver of the minivan in her 20s was unconscious and remained in critical condition, according to medics and local police.

The five-vehicle, multi-lane crash on the expressway caused the major arterial route to be closed in part for eight hours, local media said.