State must respond to accident victim’s family petition

High Court orders state to respond to petition by quadriplegic accident victim’s family.

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January 25, 2012 07:15
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The High Court of Justice ordered the state on Tuesday to respond to a petition filed by the family of Shachar Greenspan, the 14- year-old girl left quadriplegic after being struck by a car.

Greenspan’s parents filed the petition on Monday, against a plea bargain struck between the police’s legal department and Mark Patrick, the driver of the car that struck Shachar.

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Supreme Court Justice Yoram Danziger said the state must file its response by February 23. Named on the petition are Attorney- General Yehuda Weinstein, State Attorney Moshe Lador, Traffic Police head Asst.-Ch. Bruno Stein and the Petah Tikva Traffic Court.

In November 2009, Patrick, who was intoxicated, swerved his car onto a Netanya sidewalk and hit then 12-year-old Greenspan as she stood talking with a girlfriend.

Her friend was lightly injured, but Greenspan suffered severe head trauma, and doctors doubted she would live. She survived, but is a quadriplegic who can only communicate via eye movement.

In a March 2011 ruling that outraged Greenspan’s family and road safety groups, Petah Tikva Traffic Court Judge Tal Ostfeld- Navy accepted a plea bargain that Patrick’s defense team had struck with the police, and sentenced him to six months of community service and a fine of NIS 1,000, and revoked his driver’s license for six years.

In the petition, Greenspan’s parents, Israel and Nechama, say the plea bargain is “unreasonable, disproportionate, contrary to public interest and against all sense of natural justice.”

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“In these very moments, when the young girl is fighting every day to make even minimal physical actions, to move, to blink her eye, in order to communicate, the defendant is completely free and has moved on with his life as if nothing ever happened,” the petition reads.

Greenspan’s parents say that police did not inform them of the plea bargain, despite requests that they be kept updated. The plea bargain was presented to the court without their knowledge, they added.

“The plea bargain was ‘achieved’ contrary to proper administrative procedures,” Greenspan’s parents argue in the petition, saying there is a “real suspicion about the involvement of extraneous considerations.”

Greenspan’s parents asked the court to order the state to annul the criminal proceedings against Patrick, and to file new charges or annul his sentence and reopen the sentencing procedures.

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