Supreme Court nixes appeal of man who killed 6 in car crash

Yaron Bracha had consumed cocaine, marijuana and alcohol before driving through a red light at Ginaton Junction at 171 km. per hour.

Deadly car accident 311 (photo credit: ZAKA / Tzvika Level)
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 accident.
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 seat.
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 lower sentence.
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.
Bracha’s defense 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 history.
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 influence.
“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 accident.”
Bracha’s act was “immoral,” the justice said, and added that traffic accidents have become “commonplace in our country.”
“In this 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 accident.
“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.