Soccer player convicted for car crash that killed Ari Nesher

With the boy's parents as witnesses, the district court ruled that the soccer player who had hit the boy a year ago in Tel Aviv is guilty.

By ALON HACHMON
September 10, 2019 12:18
3 minute read.
Itzhak Asefa is convicted after Avi Nesher was run over by him.

Itzhak Asefa is convicted after Avi Nesher was run over by him.. (photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI)

The Tel Aviv District Court convicted soccer player Itzhak Asefa on Tuesday morning for running over and killing 17-year-old Ari Nesher.

Asefa was convicted of disrupting court proceedings and was acquitted of convictions of drunk driving. He was not charged with any offense of causing death. Nesher's parents attended the hearing for the first time since the fatal accident that took their son's life.

According to the indictment, a breathalyzer test taken four hours after the accident detected five times the amount of alcohol legally allowed in a young driver's blood. In his investigation, Asefa attempted to incriminate his friend, who he claimed drove the car.

In addition, Asefa claimed that he only drank a few sips from his friend's drink and that he did not feel the crash, but rather only heard a suspicious noise from his car and saw that his malfunction indicator lit up.

The prosecutor's office, which accompanied the investigation, instructed the police to inspect Nesher's friend – who had the victim ride a bicycle with him without a helmet or padding in violation of the law – on suspicion that he may have caused his friend's death. This came after a video documenting the accident showed the bicycle deviating from its lane.

Sometime after the accident, Asefa stayed silent during the police interrogation and refused to cooperate with the investigators, which made it difficult to advance the investigation and, therefore, prolonged his arrest. After a while and with a lawyer's advice, Asefa began to cooperate and deliver his version of the events.

In his testimony five months ago, Asefa told what he remembered from the accident: "I was driving towards Ben-Avigdor [Street] – my friend holds parties there. I drove alone in the car. I know the way. In the investigation, they [the police] said I activated Waze. I didn't remember. If they said so, it's probably true. During the drive, I heard noises, and a red light [the malfunction indicator] turned on... I called my friends and said I think I have a flat tire. They laughed and they conversation ended. I continued driving as usual."

He added: "I heard a small noise, like a flat tire. That's why it never occurred to me that I was involved in an accident."

According to Asefa, who tried to explain why copious amounts of alcohol were found in his blood, he drank "two sips" while at the club and another beer in the car after the accident. In his cross-examination, he continued claiming that he drank two sips of his drink, even after the prosecutor displayed a video recording of the outing where he seems to be holding a drink.

Nesher's friend will be prosecuted for the teenager's death for putting him on his bicycle. A statement from the prosecutor's office from January said that "the suspect put Nesher on an electric bicycle, in violation of the law and in a way that makes it difficult to control the bicycle. Due to the manner of riding the bicycle in the road and when he and Nesher were not wearing helmets, the suspect is also charged with breach of required duty of a bicyclist at night, as well as shifting the bicycle without any attention to the conditions of the road, due to which the accident and Nesher's death occurred."

In his testimony at Asefa's trial, the young man said that he does not remember the moments of the accident. "I remember that I was with my friend and that we were about to go out with the bicycle. That is the last thing I remember. I do not remember the crash."

Regarding the moments after the crash, he said, "The first thing that I remember is that I was in the hospital."

This report was translated from Maariv from Tamar Beeri.


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