train accident 311.
(photo credit: courtesy)
The Southern District prosecution filed charges with the Kiryat Gat Traffic
Court on Thursday against Ya’acov Yashar Yeshurun for causing the “death by
negligence” of seven members of the Bernstein family, who were killed when their
car collided with a train near Kibbutz Gat in August.
also filed a request with the court to revoke Yeshurun’s
According to the indictment, the accident happened because
Yeshurun, the driver of the victims’ vehicle, was not paying attention to the
road, did not notice the signs before the railway crossing warning that a train
was approaching, and did not stop his car at the railway crossing. He also did
not notice the blinking traffic light before the crossing, although it could be
seen from a distance of 200 meters.
Yeshurun’s lawyer, Eli Cohen, said
his client denied the charges. “Anyone who drove in the same spot would have met
the same fate. We plan to bring forth experts who will state that the train was
not alerted in time for the dangers. The fact is that a week after the accident,
another crash was averted in the same place because the train operator was able
to brake in time.”
He also said Yeshurun had expressed deep sorrow for
what happened and that the people in the car had been dear to
Yeshurun was a neighbor of the Bernstein family, who lived in Betar
Illit, and had been driving them to Moshav Komemiyut at their request. He told
reporters that he was receiving psychiatric treatment to cope with the sorrow of
The police claim that Yeshurun was driving quickly as he
reached the train tracks and was unable to stop in time. The train, which was
also unable to stop, crashed into the van and dragged it for several hundred
meters before coming to rest.
Twenty train passengers were mildly injured
in the collision.Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this report.