(photo credit: GONZALO FUENTES / REUTERS)
Celebrated Israeli model and television host Shlomit Malka was hospitalized in serious-to-critical condition Sunday morning following a mishap while riding an electric scooter down Tel Aviv’s Rothschild Boulevard.
According to police, Malka, 23, sustained a head injury after falling off her e-bike while traveling down the iconic street’s popular bike path.
It remains unclear if she was wearing a helmet.
“She was seriously injured after crashing the bike, but is not in a life-threatening situation,” said police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld. “Police arrived at the scene and are looking into how the accident took place.”
Several witnesses told police the path she was riding on was slippery due to the automatic watering system for the grass.
Malka was treated at the scene by Magen David Adom paramedics before being transferred to Ichilov Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit, where she was sedated and placed on a respirator, police said.
MDA paramedic Ya’arit Oren said the model was lying unconscious on the side of the road when help arrived.
“We gave her life-saving medical treatment, including medication and anesthesia, and we urgently evacuated her to the hospital while her condition was defined as critical and unstable,” said Oren.
A hospital spokesperson said a medical team was conducting tests, adding that the injury is not life-threatening.
Malka’s husband, actor and model Yehuda Levi, went to the hospital immediately after the incident.
A former host of Israel’s “The Voice,” Malka has modeled for Chanel, L’Oreal, Ralph Lauren, Maybelline, and several other international brands.
E-bikes, which have become a popular alternative to mopeds in cities the world over due to their small, battery-powered motor, are capable of reaching speeds of up to 45 km./hr.
They are legally classified as bicycles, allowing users to operate them without a license or helmet, which are required for mopeds and motorcycles.
Following a series of well-publicized accidents, in 2015 police recommended greater regulation of electric bicycles, including a requirement that drivers obtain a license and that minors under 16 be banned from riding them.
According to the Interior and Environmental Protection Committee, in 2014, 150 people were injured in accidents involving electric bikes and stand-up scooters.