Police on Sunday mistakenly announced the death of Nehorai Danino, 13, who was critically injured last week when the ATV in which he was riding flipped over.
Tel Hashomer Hospital, where Danino is being treated, said the boy remained in critical condition. The police later corrected their statement and issued an apology.
According to police reports, Danino was riding on the sand dunes in Yavne last Wednesday, when the ATV flipped over, causing him severe head injuries. Danino was taken to the hospital by helicopter in critical condition.
It is unclear if the driver of the ATV was family friend Chen Alfasi, or Danino’s 17-year-old brother.
The ATV belongs to Alfasi, 20, of Yavne, who was planning to film a video clip for the boy’s upcoming bar mitzvah. On Wednesday, Alfasi was arrested for his role in the accident, and on Thursday, he was remanded for five days.
Alfasi’s attorney told the judge in the Rishon Lezion Magistrate’s Court that Alfasi gave the ATV to Danino’s father, Shuki, and was not driving it at the time of the accident.
According to reports, police suspect that Alfasi was, in fact, the driver; he tried to escape the scene after the accident. He is also suspected of trying to wash the vehicle, in order to hide any evidence connecting him to the incident.
On Friday, another youth — 17 years old, the same age as Danino’s brother — was arrested in connection with the accident. The young man told police that he was a passenger in the ATV, while his friend Nehorai Danino was the driver. The teen admitted that he, himself, had fled the scene after the accident.
During Alfasi’s remand hearing on Thursday, Judge Sarit Zamir said that he stood accused of “reckless driving, conspiracy to commit a crime, sabotage, negligence, obstruction of justice and destruction of evidence.” She added that the case was particularly difficult to investigate, given the close relationship between the Danino and Alfasi families.
“There is a clear impression that the majority of the people involved are trying to cover up the details of the incident,” the judge added. Nevertheless, “there is evidence that contradicts the suspect’s version” of events.