‘A senseless death’: Family, coworkers mourn Holon road rage victim Yuri Volkov

Widow Lena Volkov recounts stabbing by angry scooter driver; colleague at Ichilov hospital describes victim as ‘sensitive and humble person’ who was dedicated to his work

Yuri Volkov (Courtesy)
Yuri Volkov (Courtesy)

Family and coworkers on Thursday eulogized Yuri Volkov, a healthcare aide who was stabbed to death in Holon on Wednesday evening after getting into an argument with a motorized scooter driver while crossing the road.

Holding a picture of her husband while her son hugged her, Lena Volkov, Yuri’s widow who had been with him at the time of the stabbing, described the incident.

“We were crossing the road. We had a green light and he [the driver] had a red light. We told him it was not okay, that he was doing something wrong… that’s why he killed him,” she said in a video shared by Ichilov Hospital, where she and Yuri worked.

In dashcam footage of the incident taken from a nearby car, Lena can be seen crossing the street while the crosswalk light appears to be green. The man on the moped attempts to cut her off as she crosses, whereupon Yuri Volkov begins a verbal argument.

The suspect then appears to swipe at Volkov with something in response, then quickly drives away. Volkov walks off the road and appears to talk to his wife for a bit, before dropping to the ground.

Lena said the attacker seemed suspicious to her from the first moment.

“I looked at him and knew that something was wrong, there was something about him,” she said in tears.

She thanked friends and family for their support, “including Yuri’s department… he gave everything for his patients, I know that,” she said.

According to a relative cited by Channel 12 news, Lena had taken a picture of the attacker after he made an illegal turn and almost hit her.

“She managed to take a picture of the man who almost ran into her. He noticed that and told her ‘give me your phone.’ Her husband replied by saying, ‘keep driving, it’s fine.’ At that moment he stabbed him in the heart. He told Lena he wasn’t feeling well and dropped to the ground,” the unnamed relative told the network.

In an interview with 103FM Radio, Shira Peleg, who worked as Yuri’s direct manager at the hospital, described him as a “sensitive and humble” person who was always trying to help others.

“Yuri worked at the hospital’s emergency room for nearly 20 years, helping nurses… He really was one of the most humane people one can imagine,” Peleg said.

“We’re heartbroken. It’s hard to believe that a person who was supposed to come in in two or three hours and treat others just died all of the sudden. Such an unnecessary death of a person with a family, children, grandchildren, and to think that it happened next to his wife,” she added.

“He was such a sensitive and humble person, so dedicated, everyone will tell you that. I’ve been rattled since yesterday. How could a person just cross the road and die?”

Police were still searching for the suspect, who fled the scene.

“This was a senseless death,” a police officer cited by Channel 12 said. “We have become a very violent society. People kill each other because of a remark. We’re looking for the attacker and we’ll find them.”

Volkov is survived by his wife, three children and a granddaughter.

Police at the scene where a man was stabbed to death during a road rage incident in Holon, November 23, 2022. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

The killing comes just weeks after a road rage incident that put a man in intensive care was caught on camera and shocked the nation.

In that incident, a motorcyclist used his helmet to hit a driver several times on the head on Tel Aviv’s Ayalon Highway, knocking the victim unconscious.

The man suffered skull fractures and intracranial bleeding and was hospitalized in intensive care, though his condition later improved.

The motorcyclist, Arik Greenfeld, was arrested and charged with aggravated assault.

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