PRINCETON — A member of the Tahara City, Japan, Friendship City delegation visiting Gibson County last week died Saturday at Deaconess Hospital from injuries sustained when he was hit by a car early Thursday morning on Second Avenue.
Mayor Brad Schmitt's office issued a statement expressing condolence to the family and friends of Masayuki Yamashita. "Tahara City is a Friendship city with Princeton and groups from each city have visited the other many times to collaborate and share information and ideas. This is a great loss to all of us in Princeton and the surrounding area and we are truly saddened by this most unfortunate accident," he said Monday morning in the statement.
The Princeton Police Department released the accident report Monday morning.
According to the report, the accident happened at 6:15 a.m. Thursday on Second Avenue, near the West Broadway intersection, when a 2016 Jeep Wrangler driven by Michelle L. Stunkel, 36, Francisco, struck Yamashita, 64, as he was walking across Second Avenue.
PPD officer Chelsea Jones's report says Stunkel was southbound on Second Avenue. She told police that she felt and heard her vehicle hit something in the road, but had not seen anyone in the road prior to impact. She found Yamashita lying in the roadway near the front driver's side of her car.
A pedestrian who was in the Old National Bank parking lot near the automated teller machine terminal told police she didn't see anyone in the street prior to impact, but heard the Jeep strike the pedestrian.
The report says that Yamashita's exact direction of travel was unclear, but he was most likely walking west across the street. There is no crosswalk at that portion of the street.
Stunkel tested negative for any alcohol at the scene and the report says there was no indication that she was impaired or intoxicated. The report says Stunkel's actions did not contribute to the accident.