Police on Sunday arrested a mother and daughter from Netanya on suspicion of being involved in a hit-and-run that critically injured a boy of around 5 years of age, as well as obstruction of justice in trying to conceal evidence of the incident.
Police said the women, aged in their 70s and 50s respectively, took their car to be repaired at a body shop Sunday morning.
A car hit the child and his father at around 5 p.m. on Ben Gurion Avenue, a double-lane traffic artery that stretches along the southern stretch of the city’s coastline, according to the Ynet news site.
The father was not seriously injured, but the boy was rushed to a hospital in critical condition, suffering from “a very severe multi-system trauma,” according to the paramedic who treated him.
Hundreds of hit-and-runs occur in Israel annually, resulting in 10-15 fatalities each year, according to Or Yarok, a nonprofit organization promoting road safety.
In 2011, lawmakers introduced new legislation that meted out heavier penalties for drivers found guilty of being involved in hit-and-runs. Under that amendment, a person who perpetrated a hit-and-run that resulted in death or very serious injury was to receive a prison sentence of 14 years.
The legislation followed an uproar over the trial of Shai Simon, convicted of fleeing the scene of an accident that killed 26-year-old Meital Aharonson and rendered her friend, Mali Yazdi, permanently dependent on a wheelchair. Originally sentenced to 20 years in jail, Simon’s sentence was reduced to 14 on appeal. He ended up serving 10 years and was released in 2018.