TOKYO, JAPAN - JULY 22: A man plays Pokemon Go game on a smartphone on July 22, 2016 in Tokyo, Japan. The Japanese version of the game app Pokemon Go was released on July 22, 2016. Japan McDonalds' 3,000 restaurants in Japan will be turned into Pokemon gyms in collaboration with the fast-food chain. (Photo by Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images)
Photo: Tomohiro Ohsumi
Photo: Tomohiro Ohsumi

Driver distracted by 'Pokemon Go' kills pedestrian in Japan

A Japanese farmer playing "Pokemon Go" while driving struck a pair of pedestrians earlier this week, killing one in Japan's first reported death linked to the wildly popular augmented-reality game, according to multiple reports.

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Keiji Goo, 39, was driving a small truck in Tokushima prefecture, on the island of Shikoku, Tuesday night when he struck two women as they were crossing the road, The Washington Post reported. Sachiko Nakanishi, 72, was killed and Kayoko Ikawa, 60, suffered a broken hip.

"I was playing 'Pokemon Go' while driving, so I didn't really see what was in front of me," Goo told police, according Japan's NHK.

Police arrested Goo on a negligent driving charge, Reuters reported. Authorities did not immediately say whether the man would face additional charges.

A spokesman for Niantic Inc., the company that developed "Pokemon Go" alongside the Pokemon Company, told Reuters a warning was added to the app to warn players against playing the game while driving.

It's not the first time the game, which has players attempting to find and battle virtual "Pocket Monsters" in real-time, has been linked to car accidents. According to the Post, Japanese authorities wrote 1,140 tickets for traffic violations related to the game in the month it's been out in the country – 95 percent of which were due to playing while driving.

A spokesman for Nintendo shared condolences for the family of Nakanishi while speaking with Reuters, adding that, "Pokemon Company and Niantic endeavor to create an environment where people can play the game safely and we will continue to do that."

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