A London rabbi plowed a Jaguar into two people and crashed into a pharmacy while trying to help a woman park in a March 2018 incident, a court heard on Wednesday.
Rabbi Ralph Berisch, 75, said he accidentally hit the gas pedal in the woman’s vehicle, jolting it onto a sidewalk in the London neighborhood of Golders Green.
Berisch is on trial for injuring two men in the accident, charged with two counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving. The rabbi denies the charges.
“I put the car in drive, I don’t know what happened. It took off, I couldn’t control it,” he said, according to UK media reports.
One of the victims of the accident, David Richards, 44, said: “I heard a really, really loud excessive revving behind me and the next thing I was on the bonnet, hurtling at speed.
“I thought I was going to die and at the last second it swerved into a pharmacy. I realized my leg was broken and everything was blurry,” Richards recalled. “I know the rabbi behind the wheel, he is a good man, it was one hundred percent an accident and he will be suffering. It has affected my life, but I’m happy to be alive.”
Richards suffered 13 leg fractures in the accident. Another pedestrian, Simon Elkouby, sustained serious injuries.
Golders Green is a prominent Jewish neighborhood in the UK capital.