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81歳の男性が妻の乗った車いすを押してエスカレーターを利用していたとき、後ろに落ちる事故がありました。
There was an accident where an 81 year old man fell backwards when he pushed the end of the wheel chair he was riding onto the escalator.

I'm a bit confused by the part in bold. Does this mean that the man got out of the wheel chair and pushed it onto the escalator and then stood behind it? Or, can 押す be used to refer to the action of driving the wheel chair, i.e. he remained seated in the wheel chair and pushed it onto the escalator using the wheels?

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As a non-native Japanese speaker, I would assume the following: That the sentence parses as follows

81歳の男性 - subject (81 year old man)

妻の乗った車いす - object (wheelchiar his wife was riding in)

押して - te form to indicate simultaneous action (while pushing)

in an adjectival sentence, ga can be conjugated to no in order to indicate that the subject is part of the adjectival sentence and not the larger sentence. in this case the verb oshite indicates simultaneous action. It therefore translates to:

There was an accident where an 81 year old man fell backwards after pushing his wife up an escalator in a wheelchair.

  • Right. The one who was sitting in the wheelchair is his wife (妻{つま}の乗った=妻が乗っていた). We can't tell how and when exactly he fell. – karlalou Jul 17 '17 at 22:31
  • That makes sense. I read 妻 as 'end' and thought that both 妻の and 乗った were modifying 車いす. i.e. 'the end of the wheelchair he was riding'. – user3856370 Jul 17 '17 at 22:41

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