Truck driver charged with hitting and killing MK’s mother
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Truck driver charged with hitting and killing MK’s mother

Prosecutors say Zion Ratson was not paying attention when he sped through busy Tel Aviv intersection and ran over Naomi Folkman, 78

Naomi Folkman (R), the mother of MK Royi Folkman, with Kulanu leader Moshe Kahlon at the party headquarters in Tel Aviv, hours before she was run and over and killed by a cement mixing truck, February 15, 2019. (Courtesy)
Naomi Folkman (R), the mother of MK Royi Folkman, with Kulanu leader Moshe Kahlon at the party headquarters in Tel Aviv, hours before she was run and over and killed by a cement mixing truck, February 15, 2019. (Courtesy)

A truck driver who killed an elderly woman earlier this year was indicted Thursday on manslaughter charges.

Prosecutors charged Zion Ratson with negligent homicide for the February 5 accident in Tel Aviv that killed 78-year-old Naomi Folkman, the mother of Kulanu MK Roy Folkman.

According to the indictment, Ratson failed to slow down or stop as he approached the pedestrian crossing on Yigal Alon Street. Though his light had just turned green, prosecutors said Ratson plowed through the intersection without looking, running over Folkman with his cement truck as she finished crossing the busy road.

Ratson was so distracted that he did not notice hitting Folkman for several blocks, prosecutors said, only pulling over when bystanders and other drivers flagged him down.

Folkman, who was hit moments after visiting the Kulanu headquarters for a party event, died at the scene.

Kulanu MK Roy Folkman speaks at a cultural event in the central city of Kfar Saba on February 2, 2019. (Flash90)

“The manner in which the defendant was driving a heavy vehicle was negligent; without paying attention and ignoring traffic lights,” prosecutors said in the indictment. They said Ratson has yet to take responsibility for the fatal accident, and told the court he posed a risk to the public behind the wheel.

Prosecutors asked the court to suspend Ratson’s license until the end of the legal proceedings against him.

Roy Folkman, 43, was an only child, and Naomi was a single mother.

“It’s painful that I wasn’t able to say goodbye to her for the last time,” he said in a statement announcing her death.

Kulanu chairman Moshe Kahlon, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other lawmakers from across the political spectrum sent Folkman their condolences.

Folkman joined Kulanu ahead of the 2015 elections and has served as the party’s faction chair in the Knesset. He made it in to the next Knesset as part of the Kulanu slate.

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