A Navy officer jailed in Japan over a deadly car crash is transferred to US custody, his family says

FILE – Derek and Suzi Alkonis pose with a photo of their son Lt. Ridge Alkonis on Wednesday, June 1, 2022, in Dana Point, Calif. Lt. Ridge Alkonis, a U.S. Navy officer jailed in Japan over a deadly car crash that killed two Japanese citizens, has been transferred to U.S. custody. Lt. Ridge Alkonis’ wife said Thursday he’s being returned to the United States. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy, File) WASHINGTON (AP) — A Navy officer jailed in Japan over a car crash that killed two Japanese citizens has been transferred into American custody and is being returned to the United States, his family said Thursday. Lt. Ridge Alkonis had been serving a three-year prison sentence in Japan after pleading guilty to the negligent driving deaths of a woman and her son-in-law in May 2021. Alkonis’ family has said the crash was an accident that was caused when he lost consciousness while on a trip to Mount Fuji. Japanese prosecutors maintained that he fell asleep while drowsy and shirked a duty to pull over as he became fatigued. “After 507 days, Lt. Ridge Alkonis is on his way home to the United States. We are encouraged by Ridge’s transfer back to the United States but cannot celebrate until Ridge has been reunited with his family,” his family said in a statement to The Associated Press. The Alkonis family, who live in Dana Point, California, said they appreciated the U.S. government’s efforts to bring about the transfer. The case had generated substantial publicity over the past year and a half and became a periodic point of tension between the two allies. Other news Tesla recalls nearly all vehicles sold in US to fix system that monitors drivers using Autopilot Tesla was running on Autopilot moments before tractor-trailer crash, Virginia sheriff’s office says […]

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