Police: Driver accused of hit-and-run of Israel Prize winner arrested in capital

Prof. David Kazhdan remains in serious condition'; "We’re looking to see why he didn’t turn himself in," says Police spokesman.

DAVID KAZHDAN (photo credit: Courtesy Hebrew University)
(photo credit: Courtesy Hebrew University)
The man driving the truck that allegedly struck internationally recognized mathematician and Israel Prize laureate David Kazhdan in the capital Sunday, rendering him in serious condition, was found and arrested by police Wednesday night.
According to police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld, an intensive investigation by the Traffic Police uncovered the location of the unidentified driver, who is in his 30s and works at a moving company.
Rosenfeld said Thursday that the driver will remain in custody pending a further investigation into why he fled the scene of such a serious accident.
“We’re looking to see why he didn’t turn himself in,” Rosenfeld said.
Kazhdan remains hospitalized in serious condition at Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem’s Ein Kerem, after being struck by the truck while riding his bicycle in the capital Sunday morning.
At the time of the accident, Kazhdan was biking with his son from Beit Shemesh, police said.
Kazhdan’s son, Eli, told police he was riding in front of his father when the accident occurred and did not see what transpired.
“I heard the crash, and when I looked back I saw my father lying on the ground,” he said.
“I didn’t manage to see the truck because my focus was on my dad.”
Kazhdan was born in Moscow in 1946 and moved to the United States in the mid- 70s. He made aliya in 2002, and has since resided in Jerusalem with his wife and three children.
In 2012, he received the Israel Prize – Israel’s highest honor – for mathematics and computer science, for his contributions to group theory.
Kazhdan was described by the award’s committee as “one of the world’s leading mathematicians in recent decades.”
He currently works as a professor of mathematics at Hebrew University, is a professor emeritus at Harvard and a member of the National Academy of Sciences.