DRUGS SUSPECTED: Driver Who Caused Crash That Killed Family of 8 May Have Been High on Marijuana


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).

The Attar family A”H
At the Psagot elementary school, in memory of Atar family

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)


  1. Medical Marijuana aka Cannabis is not a drug. Recreational Marijuana is a drug. If he used his cell phone, we don’t need to concoct additional reasons for his distraction.

  2. It’s already allowed here in Canada. This is brand new as of last week. There is no breathalyser for pot; you need a blood test. The cops will have to bring you to a nurse somewhere to draw blood, assuming they believe they have the legal right to force drawing blood.

    All this to show that it will be a lot tougher to crack down on high driving than drunk driving. And the number of drivers under an influence has doubled overnight.

    “High driving”. Not to be confused with high diving, the sport. I just coined it. If it becomes a thing, you will know who came up with it.