A traffic officer checks a driver in Tel Aviv 370.
(photo credit: Ben Hartman)
The Southern District Attorney’s Office has filed an indictment with the Ashkelon Magistrate’s Court against a taxi driver who crashed his car while intoxicated and fled the site of the crash, leaving his passengers trapped.
The Justice Ministry announced the indictment on Monday, though it was filed on Sunday.
The indictment said that the driver, Yossi Ben Herzl Legetbi, 32, of Ashkelon, previously had his license revoked on January 23, 2013 after driving while intoxicated.
Following are the details of the incident, according to the indictment: On March 7, 2014, despite being intoxicated and not having a valid license, Legetbi picked up four passengers.
Legetbi then started to drive at excessive speeds, and the passengers asked that he slow down.
He responded by yelling at them, “don’t tell me how to [drive] or interfere with my driving.”
Legetbi lost control of the car, drove onto the sidewalk and crashed into the Leshem banqueting hall near the city’s seaside.
The passengers were injured during the crash and were trapped in the wreckage. But as they called to Legetbi for help and were having trouble breathing, he escaped out of the front window and left them stranded behind.
Legetbi reportedly responded to their cries for help by saying, “don’t tell anything to anyone,” adding that he was sorry and that “anyway my life is ruined.”
The indictment further stated that he did not call for help and went to the Barzilai Medical Center to receive medical care for himself only, telling the hospital that he had fallen off a porch.
The indictment said that the passengers were only saved after one of them used a cellphone to call for an ambulance that eventually rescued them.
The prosecution requested to remand Legetbi to police custody until the end of the proceedings.