The prosecutor’s office filed a plea bargain on Tuesday morning to the Jerusalem District Court for Meir Gamliel and Netanel Sandrusi, accused of the hit-and-run accident on Golda Meir Boulevard in April, which mortally wounded 11-year-old Binyamin Beigelson Z”L, a Ynet report said. Beigelson was evacuated to the hospital in critical condition and died of his wounds two and a half months later.
As part of the plea bargain, the indictment was changed to Gamliel admitting that he was the one driving the car during the incident and he was sentenced to 15 months of prison. Sandrusi was sentenced to seven months of prison for violation of the obligation to notify rescue services. Gamliel and Sandrusi were also ordered to pay compensation to the Beigelsen family.
Both defendants had a prior criminal record and record of traffic offenses. Gamliel has a prior offense of driving while intoxicated.
During the hearing, the judge expressed surprise that the plea bargain didn’t include the revocation of the defendants’ driving licenses The defense attorney responded that even according to the opinion of the prosecution, the accident could not have been prevented, and therefore was not considered a traffic offense. However, the judge, in an unusual deviation from the norm, changed the plea bargain to include the revocation of Gamliel’s driving license for 20 months.
The two men both expressed regret for their actions.
On a Sunday, Chol Hamoed Pesach, during the evening hours, Sandrusi was driving on Golda Meir Blvd. in Jerusalem with Gamliel with him in the vehicle. They got to the corner of Golda Meir Blvd. and Mersky Street, driving at excessive speed for the area. At that moment, the 11-year-old Chaim Binyomin was crossing and Sandrusi hit him in an authorized crosswalk.
The defendants were aware they struck the child, but they did not both calling for an ambulance or any type of assistance at the scene. Gamliel preferred to drive off at high speed.
Sandrusi turned himself into the police only after his picture was publicized to the media. Gamliel was found by the police a few days later.
Beigelson was run over in front of his brother on Gold Meir Boulevard in Jerusalem on April 21. Natan Cohen, a witness to the accident, told Ynet at the time: “I stood next to the crosswalk, I saw the boy run into the crosswalk and then I heard a loud boom. I think that the traffic light was green. The brother of the boy who was hit was next to him and didn’t cross. He saw his brother being hit and began to scream.”
“After the accident, the driver stopped for two seconds and then decided to flee,” Cohen continued. “I saw the boy lying on his stomach unresponsive. I ran toward him with another two friends and we tried to check if he was conscious but he didn’t respond. We called an ambulance and police, who came and they took him to the hospital.”
The young Chaim Binyomin was hospitalized in Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Hospital until July 2019 when he was niftar, never succeeding in overcoming his massive injuries.
If the lights were green, I believe the driver had the right of way and therefore only got 15 months for leaving the scene.