Indictment: Couple hits, kills cyclist, flees scene

To cover up incident, couple allegedly told insurance, garage where brought car to be fixed that they had hit a camel.

Hit-and-run accident ambulence_311 (photo credit: Uzi Barak )
Hit-and-run accident ambulence_311
(photo credit: Uzi Barak )
Law enforcement on Thursday filed an indictment against Chaim and Ayelet Alon, a couple from Beersheba, on hit-and-run charges, following their alleged hitting and killing of cyclist Michael Mirilashvili with their car on May 3.
Chaim Alon is also charged with obstruction of justice.
According to the indictment, he hit Mirilashvili, while his wife was riding as a passenger, but drove on without checking on him as he died by the roadside.
The indictment, which was filed in the Beersheba District Court, also says that at no time did Ayelet try to help Mirilashvili or notify authorities about the incident. The couple continued on with their daily lives as if nothing had happen, both that day, and all the way until their arrest on June 11, In fact, the indictment states.
Later, it is alleged that Chaim contacted his insurance company and the garage where he was trying to get his car fixed following the accident, and misled them both by telling them that he had crashed into a camel.
The indictment states that Chaim’s goal was to cover up all evidence of the incident.
The maximum penalty for a hit-and-run offense involving physical harm to another is 14 years in prison, while the penalty for a passenger who fails to notify the authorities when a vehicle he is in hits a person is seven years.
Last week, the High Court of Justice heard a petition seeking to give Mark Patrick, a driver who hit a pedestrian with his car, a harsher sentence than the earlier court-approved plea bargain.
Patrick had hit Shahar Greenspan with his car while driving intoxicated. Greenspan, 14, has been left paralyzed, a condition experts expect will continue for the rest of his life, from the 2009 incident.
Patrick had plead guilty and entered into a plea bargain with the prosecution to pay an NIS 1,000 fine and to perform community service. The Greenspan family reacted in dismay at what it viewed as an extremely light sentence. The prosecution later acknowledged that the plea bargain that it negotiated was inappropriately lenient.
However, because a lower court already approved the plea bargain and because of the final nature of plea bargains, the only avenue open to “reopening” the lower court’s sentence was an petition to the High Court.
MK Ze’ev Bielski of Kadima, among others, has been involved in proposing and passing laws in recent years to make penalties for traffic accidents involving alcohol or hit-and-run situations harsher in the aftermath of several reports of people hitting cyclists and others with their cars and leaving them to die by the roadside.
One example is making the penalty for hitand- run incidents involving physical harm to another a 14-year prison sentence, instead of seven years.
Despite the proposed legislation, new laws and the public attention given to some of the cases, lethal hit-and-run and drunk driving accidents have not noticeably decreased.
However, the Or Yarok Association for Safer Driving in Israel has, along with the relatively new Knesset Lobby for the War Against Road Accidents, continued to push initiatives designed to increase public awareness surrounding issues of road safety.