The Beersheva Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday morning, 22 Marcheshvan, extended the remand of the 52-year-old driver responsible for the fiery crash on Tuesday that claimed the lives of the Attar family of Psagot, killing the parents and their six children R”L. The driver, a resident of Givon HaChadasha, is suspected of driving under the use of drugs – possibly medical cannabis. It was reported he may have been using his cellphone as well.
The driver of the Toyota SUV was treated in Soroka Hospital in Beersheva for minor injuries. Upon his release, he was questioned by police and then taken into custody. He initially admitted the accident was his fault, a driver with over 20 driving violations on his record. The court extended his remand for an additional six days while the investigation into the horrific tragedy continues. Police asked to extend his remand for ten days, but Justice Tzvi Forer, who placed a gag order on releasing the driver’s name and/or photo, in compliance with a defense request, ruled extending his remand for six days is sufficient.
During the investigation, the driver said he sometimes uses medical marijuana. According to his lawyer, he underwent a urine test.
Judge Forer turned to the sides and said that “there were not many cases in which we encountered such a fatal accident … I do not wish anyone to be in the place of the man who is here.”
Attorney Aviad Chaiyat, who represents the driver along with attorney Yinon Heiman, said: “This is a sad case with sad results for everyone. The driver told a different story at the scene then he is saying now. He is cooperating, and he doesn’t stop crying”.
Judge Forer concluded: “The fatal accident took the life of an entire family, but it is impossible to ignore the fact that at this stage of the detention there are implications for the suspect as well, who did not flee the scene. I see no reason to allow the publication of his name in light of the fear that he may be harmed at the initial stage of the investigation.”
Killed in the head-on accident were Yariv Atar (father – 45), Shoshi (mother – 47), Yaakov Yisroel (12), Ateres (11), Ayala (9), Moriah (7), Yedid (5) and Avigayil (3).
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DISGUSTING: #Haaretz reporter Naama Riba felt the need to remind everyone the Attar family from #Psagot killed in a fiery crash near the Dead Sea did NOT live in a “town” – rather an “illegal settlement”. She explained on #Twitter that this this is what was on her mind when reading/watching reporting about the tragedy. She later delete the tweet and apologized for using the tragedy for political purposes
ZAKA Chief Yehuda Meshi-Zahav made an impassioned appeal to motorists to stop busying themselves with smartphones while driving, including texting and any other action that compromises one’s attention from the road and operating a motor vehicle, for too many persons have been killed and injured from such actions, which are preventable, and it is in out hands to effect change. Meshi-Zahav pleads with the tzibur to leave the texting and WhatsApp alone while driving and realize what can occur in seconds of taking one’s attention off the road.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)