Deadly car accident 311.
(photo credit: ZAKA / Tzvika Level)
The Supreme Court turned down the appeal on Monday of Yaron Bracha, the man
sentenced to 16 years imprisonment in 2008 after being convicted of the
manslaughter of his twin brother and five Egged employees in a deadly road
Bracha, who had a history of driving offenses, had consumed
cocaine, marijuana and alcohol before driving through a red light at Ginaton
Junction at 171 km. per hour.
He smashed his car into an oncoming
vehicle, killing his twin brother, Eyal, who was in the passenger
Five Egged employees, who had been driving home from work, were
also killed in the accident.
A panel of three justices – Asher Dan
Grunis, Elyakim Rubenstein and Esther Hayut – turned down Bracha’s appeal for a
Bracha’s defense team had argued that the District Court
had erred by sentencing him to separate punishments for each of the victims,
even though there was only one accident.
This, Bracha’s defense attorneys
claimed, contravenes the Criminal Procedure Law which states that courts cannot
convict a defendant more than once for the same act.
attorneys also argued that the District Court ruling had been influenced by the
wide media coverage of the accident, which had been one of the worst in recent
The families of those killed in the accident had also exerted
pressure on the court, and the judge had been personally acquainted with
managers and owners of Egged, the defense contended.
However, Hayut, one
of the justices, dismissed Bracha’s arguments and said that in sentencing, the
court had to consider the number of victims who died in the crash as well as the
moral requirement for deterring drivers from driving under the
“The appellant drank, took two dangerous drugs, and did not
hold back from driving while under their influence,” said Hayut. “Only a miracle
could have brought him and his brother home without an
Bracha’s act was “immoral,” the justice said, and added that
traffic accidents have become “commonplace in our country.”
case, the court must give a very clear message that whoever drives under the
influence of intoxicating substances and causes a person’s death – and in severe
cases like that before us, the deaths of several people – will be punished with
a severe prison sentence,” Hayut said.
Bracha’s defense attorney Ayalon
Oron told Channel 2 news after the hearing that the court should have showed
compassion to Bracha’s mother, one of whose sons had been killed in the
“When the living child is not returned to his mother, she feels
as if both her sons were taken,” said Oron, who blamed the media for putting
pressure on the court.