Drunk driver who killed top cyclist charged with homicide in Beersheba court

Nachman Khoury allegedly hit Guy Timor — a member of Israel’s national team who was training for European championship — during police chase while driving under the influence

Illustrative: Bikers at the Hefer Lake park, near Kibbutz Ein HaHoresh, January 23, 2019. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)
Illustrative: Bikers at the Hefer Lake park, near Kibbutz Ein HaHoresh, January 23, 2019. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

The Beersheba District Court on Thursday indicted a man accused of mowing down and killing a top cyclist last month while both drunk and unlicensed.

Nachman Khoury, 21, was charged with negligent homicide for the June 6 killing of Guy Timor, 21, a member of the Israeli national team in track and road cycling. The charge carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Hebrew media said Khoury had never been issued a driver’s license and was ineligible to obtain one. He reportedly had a criminal record, including two traffic violations, and was recently released from jail.

“We were supposed to be in touch with Guy [who should have been] in Italy today, preparing for European and international championships. Instead, we’re in court,” Timor’s mother Einav told the Ynet news site on Wednesday.

“We’ve come to fight for justice, against the murderer who murdered our son on the road,” she continued. “An enemy among us.”

“Who needs enemies when there are people like that going around like a ticking time bomb?” she added.

According to the indictment, Khoury violated the conditions of a house arrest imposed on him by a Haifa court and drove to a friend in the south. While at his friend’s home, Khoury consumed alcohol and drugs, the indictment said, according to the Kan public broadcaster.

In the morning, Khoury volunteered to drive two people who needed a ride from his friend’s home. Khoury reportedly swerved sharply from lane to lane, almost hitting a minibus of children that had stopped at the side of the road.

According to Kan, Khoury did not comply with the passengers’ requests to stop and continued driving fast and dangerously. After several more requests, the passengers managed to exit the vehicle, but Khoury continued driving.

Ynet reported that Khoury made intimidating comments to women on the road. He was said to pull up to one woman’s car and order her to call the police because he was “killing people.” Khoury was also said to have approached another car and threatened to pull out an assault rifle on the two women inside.

After a police car called on him to stop, Khoury reportedly refused, saying that he was “the messiah.”

Ynet said that during the police chase, Khoury went off-track, reentering the road at the Nehora junction, north of Kiryat Gat. Khoury reportedly then ran a red light, swerved, and hit Timor.

The cyclist was reportedly flung onto the road as the driver sped away. Medics who arrived on the scene pronounced Timor’s death on the spot. Khoury finally skidded to a halt in a nearby ditch after hitting a police car.

Speaking to Army Radio in June, Timor’s teammate Yonatan Turgeman lamented the sorry state of Israel’s roads.

“Every developed country has cycling infrastructure, but not our country. We cannot protect ourselves,” Turgeman said, describing his teammate as “an amazing rider, always with a smile.”

Or Yarok, a road safety advocacy group, said 232 people have been killed in traffic accidents in Israel since the start of 2024, compared with 193 over the same period in 2023.

According to the organization, 2023 saw more fatal traffic accidents in Israel than any year over the past decade.

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