High Court Rejects Appeal from the Driver of Overturned Bus in Eilat in 2008 in Which 24 People were Killed

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If timing played a role in the High Court’s ruling, this former bus driver did not have a prayer. The High Court of Justice on Wednesday 8 Adar I rejected an appeal from bus driver Eduard Gelfund, who was driving a bus involved in a fatal accident near Eilat in 2008, as was reported by YWN. The area of the crash is known as Mt. Yu’ash Canyon about 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) north of Eilat. The bus flipped and about 50 people were thrown from the vehicle, carrying tourists from St. Petersburg. Twenty-four of the passengers were killed in the crash as the bus fell some 70 meters into a ravine.

The fatal crash occurred on December 6, 2008 on Route 12. In addition to the fatalities, 15 passengers were seriously injured and others were less seriously injured.

Gelfund was blamed for the worst ever crash in Israel and convicted of manslaughter in 2013 in the Beersheva District Court. He was held accountable for losing control of the bus on a curvy area of the road with limited visibility. He was sentenced to eight years in jail and his license was suspended for 25 years.

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On Wednesday, 8 Adar I, just days after the fatal Egged 402 bus crash on Highway 1 that led to the deaths of six people, a three-justice panel of the court rejected Gelfund’s appeal.

The court explained that in this case there was no dispute that the accident occurred as Gelfund was passing another bus at a blind area of the road. The court added the driver was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol but simply drove recklessly, comparing his actions to one who crosses a solid line, a red light of drives with a suspended license.

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(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)