Road safety groups and the family of Maccabi Tel Aviv athlete Yevgenia Vexler, who was killed along with her six-year-old son in a fatal traffic accident on April 11, will demand justice be done Thursday at the Tel Aviv Traffic Court in the prosecution of well-known lawyer Avigdor "Dori" Klagsbald.
Klagsbald, who has in the past represented prime minister Ariel Sharon, Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz and Ma'ariv publisher Ofer Nimrodi in court, sustained only minor injuries when his SUV slammed into the back of Vexler's stationary car at the intersection of Einstein Street and Namir Road in north Tel Aviv. Vexler, who would have turned 24 last week, was killed outright and her son, Arthur, died on the way to hospital.
"Our concern is that whatever punishment is meted out should act as a deterrent to those who are acting either irresponsibly on the road or in flagrant violation of the law," said Zelda Harris, spokeswoman for road safety organization Metuna. Together with the Vexler family, Metuna is organizing a demonstration outside the courtroom on Rehov Hashocken Thursday at 8:30 a.m. "We hope that lots of people will show up and show support for this cause and for the family."
"The protest will bring together people who believe in our struggle and will only help the family and its supporters to fight this battle," Zari Hazan, lawyer for the bereaved family, told The Jerusalem Post.
Earlier this month, the state prosecution declared that it planned to ask the court to convict Klagsbald of causing death by criminal negligence.
"We hope that the court will do justice to those responsible and will reveal the facts that have not yet been reported," continued Hazan.
Reports have suggested that Klagsbald had been returning from a meal where he'd been drinking alcohol when he crashed into Vexler's car and that he had been driving over the speed limit or was distracted while talking on his cell phone, but the police refuse to confirm these claims.
In a letter sent to Tel Aviv District Prosecutor Eli Schwartz back in June, Hazan demanded that the family be given more details about the investigation. He specifically asked for answers as to Klagsbald's blood alcohol level and the car's speed at the time of the crash. Hazan also questioned the method of the police's investigation into the case and demanded confirmation as to whether Klagsbald had been using his mobile phone at the time of impact.
"Metuna is concerned that if such a high profile person is let off it could have extreme consequences for those intending to break the law in the future," said Harris. "The punishment should fit the crime."