The driver in a Jerusalem hit-and-run accident that killed an 11-year-old boy was sentenced Tuesday to 15 months in prison for abandoning the scene of the accident.
The Jerusalem District Court approved a plea bargain that saw the charge sheet changed so that Meir Gamliel, 24, admitted to being behind the wheel and not Netanel Sandrusi, 23, who was his passenger.
Sandrusi was sentenced to seven months for not fulfilling his duty as a passenger to call rescue services.
The April 21 accident left Chaim Binyamin Biegeleisen in critical condition with symptoms consistent with brain death. He died three months later.
קורע לב. הלוויתו שלהילד חיים בנימין ביגלאייזן בן 11, שנפצע אנושות לפני למעלה מחודשיים בתאונת פגע וברח תצא היום בשעה 14:30 מבית הכנסת אוהל יוסף להר המנוחות pic.twitter.com/BP2k73lfq2
— ישראל כהן (@Israelcohen911) July 7, 2019
The accident occurred at a crosswalk on Golda Meir Boulevard, a busy thoroughfare in the northwest of the city that has seen a large number of accidents. Biegeleisen’s brother was reportedly with him at the time of the crash and was lightly injured.
According to court papers, filed before the plea bargain, Sandrusi was speeding along the boulevard with Gamliel in the passenger seat. They reached the intersection of Yitzhak Mirsky Street as Biegeleisen, who was crossing against a red light, stepped into the road. Sandrusi hit the boy while he was in the crossing.
During the hearing, Judge Tamar Ben-Asher questioned why the deal didn’t also include canceling Gamliel’s license.
The defense counsel explained that prosecutors agreed the accident was unavoidable and therefore not considered a traffic offense. Nonetheless, Ben-Asher revoked Gamliel’s license for 20 months.
The car was found abandoned hours after the accident in the Givat Ze’ev settlement north of the city. A police investigation determined that the owner of the vehicle was not a suspect.
Sandrusi, a Jerusalem resident and at the time the key suspect, turned himself in a week later, following a manhunt.
Gamliel was located by police on May 6 in an apartment rented by an acquaintance in Givat Shmuel, near Tel Aviv.