Court extends remand of suspect in hit-and-run accident

Remand of Roni Levi extended by six days day after he was suspected of killing man and pregnant wife on Route 4, and not stopping to help.

Hit-and-run accident ambulence_311 (photo credit: Uzi Barak )
Hit-and-run accident ambulence_311
(photo credit: Uzi Barak )
The Rishon Lezion Magistrates Court on Monday extended by six days the remand of Roni Levi, suspected of running over and killing a young couple on Sunday in an apparent hit-and-run accident.
Levi, a 31-year-old resident of Jaffa, is suspected of causing death by negligence and of escaping from the scene of an accident without providing assistance.
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The truck driver gave himself up to police early Monday morning, a day after accident on the northbound lanes of Route 4.
The victims, Hai-Ziv Kriaf, 24, and his wife, Shani Kriaf, 22, from Kiryat Malachi, had pulled over on the highway’s shoulder to replace a punctured tire, when police say a medium-sized truck with a white crate smashed into them, sending them onto the highway lane.
Immediately afterward, a second truck ran over them, Ch.-Supt. Shai Mizrahi of the Shfela Traffic Police told The Jerusalem Post.
“The driver of the first truck that struck the couple stopped for a few minutes, and then drove away,” he said. “This is a very severe incident.”
Police say the truck likely sustained damaged on its right-hand side, and may also have a shattered windshield.
The driver of the second truck remained on the scene, but failed to write down the license plate of the first truck, Mizrahi said.
“It is possible that a third truck also ran them over. We are investigating that possibility,” he said.
The couple had married in November, and were expecting their first child, a boy, soon. They had recently returned from a delayed honeymoon in Barcelona, stunned relatives said.
Friends and family members gathered at the home of Hai-Ziv’s parents in Kiryat Malachi as news spread of the tragedy.
The couple were on their way to meet another family at a water park in Holon, relatives added.
Hai-Ziv’s father, Ilan, told Ma’ariv that he received a call from his son minutes before the fatal crash.
“He told me, ‘Dad, I’ve got a puncture,’” Ilan recounted.
Hai-Ziv’s mother, Carla, added that her husband heard about the deadly accident soon afterward on the radio, and immediately knew his son had been killed.
Traffic Police blocked off the northbound lane and heavy traffic built up in the area for several hours.
“Highway shoulders are never safe, even if they are 5 meters wide,” Mizrahi said. “If one becomes stranded on the highway, they should exit the car and stand away from the road, so that they don’t become a target.
If you suffer a puncture, drive on for a few hundred meters if possible to exit the highway.”
Police have asked members of the public who witnessed the accident to contact them at 050-627-4441.
Two bills drafted to protect victims of hit-and-run accidents by toughening punishments for drivers who cause them are scheduled to be passed in the Knesset in the coming days, MK Ze’ev Bielski said on Sunday.
Bielski said Sunday’s accident was another one in the recent “chain of accidents where the driver has left the injured on the road.”
Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this report.