Egged driver charged with hitting HU professor

Raviztsky was seriously injured when the bus's windshield slammed into his head.

ravitzky 298  (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
ravitzky 298
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
A Jerusalem Egged bus driver has been charged with negligence for driving into Israel Prize laureate and Hebrew University Prof. Aviezer Ravitzky in October, court documents released on Tuesday showed. Michael Mizrachi, 29, was indicted in a Jerusalem court late Monday for the accident on the city's Jaffa Road. Raviztsky was seriously injured when the bus's windshield slammed into his head. He was unconscious for nearly a month and a half, and is currently undergoing a long-term rehabilitation process. According to the charge sheet, at the time of the accident, Mizrachi was speeding (at 47 km/hour) and talking to a fellow driver who had boarded the bus at the previous stop, and failed to pay attention to the traffic on the road or to slow down at the cross-walk where Ravitzky was crossing. Mizrachi also allegedly did not heed the last-minute warnings of a bus driver coming in the opposite direction who flashed his lights and honked his horn. The driver also attempted to obstruct justice by tampering with the bus before the police arrived, even though he was warned not to do so by his co-worker, the indictment reads. The driver's license was suspended for 90 days, police said. Egged spokesman Ron Ratner said on Tuesday that based on the initial investigation, a "complex" picture emerged about the accident which was "more than black and white." The bus driver has since returned to work, pending the outcome of the trial, an Egged spokeswoman said. Ravitzky is still undergoing rehabilitation, but is reported to be in good condition. Ravitzky, 61, who was the head of the Jewish Philosophy department at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, is one of Israel's most respected philosophers. In 2001, he was awarded the Israel Prize for his research in Jewish Thought. A senior fellow at the Israel Democracy Institute in Jerusalem, Ravitzky is the author of several books, including Messianism, Zionism and Jewish Religious Radicalism, History and Faith: Studies in Jewish Philosophy and, most recently, Religious and Secular Jews in Israel: A Post-Zionist Kulturkampf? Ravitzky has served as a visiting professor at various universities in the United States, including Harvard, the University of Pennsylvania, Rice University, Yeshiva University, Brown University and the Jewish Theological Seminary.