Three indicted over Haifa 'hit and run'

Two pedestrians seriously injured in accident, defendants allegedly removed car license plates to foil police search for them

hit and run car 311 (photo credit: Court Services)
hit and run car 311
(photo credit: Court Services)
The Haifa district attorney filed indictments in the Haifa District and Magistrate’s Courts on Monday, charging three men in connection with a hit-and-run accident in the northern city last month in which two pedestrians were seriously injured.
Moran Maron, 23, allegedly drove the car even though he had previously been disqualified and did not have an insurance policy for his car.
He was charged alongside two men alleged to have been passengers at the time of the accident – 21-year-old Anton Asfur and 23-year-old Roget Gallianos. All three men are from Haifa.
An elderly woman and her daughter were abandoned on the sidewalk after being hurt in the accident, and Haifa police later revealed that the perpetrators had fled before removing the license plates from their car in order to make it difficult to locate them.
According to the indictment, the accident occurred on Aliya Street in Haifa on April 21, when Maron swerved his car onto the sidewalk and smashed into 83- year-old wheelchair-user Fanya Feinziberg and her 62- year-old daughter, Larisa Goldenberg.
The indictment said that immediately before the accident, Moran had swerved into the oncoming lane to bypass a second car as it turned from an access road.
Allegedly, in doing so, Moran blocked that second car from turning, and damaged it.
Moran then continued driving, mounting the curb and slamming into the two pedestrians as Goldenberg pushed her mother in a wheelchair.
Immediately after the accident, the three defendants allegedly sped off without getting out of the car.
The two women were seriously injured in the accident, and were later taken to the hospital, each with multiple fractures and head injuries.
However, instead of stopping to help the women or call an ambulance, Moran, Asfur and Gallianos drove to the beach near Haifa’s Bat Galim neighborhood, the indictment said, where they abandoned the car, ripped off its license plates and fled the area.
Moran is charged under the 1961 Traffic Ordinance with abandonment after injuring a person, driving while disqualified, driving without due care and attention and endangering life and causing injury as well as other traffic offenses.
Asfur and Gallianos are both charged under the traffic ordinance with failing to call emergency services after an accident, and under the penal code with obstructing justice and changing the identity of a vehicle.
Later on Monday, the Haifa District Court extended Moran’s and Asfur’s detention, pending a further hearing.
Judge Ron Shapira said that there was a sufficient evidentiary basis to remand the two defendants in custody, and noted that the prosecution has alleged that the accident was partly documented by security cameras. However, the court has yet to see that footage. The court also noted that Moran and Asfur have so far maintained their right to remain silent and have not given testimony.
Also on Monday, the Haifa Magistrate’s Court extended the remand of the third defendant, Gallianos, pending a further hearing.
Hit-and-run accidents have become a widespread epidemic that claims the lives of around 18 Israelis every year and injure another 1,000, according to the Or Yarok Association for Safer Driving, who have been active in promoting tougher sentences for hit-and-run drivers.
Late last year, MK Ze’ev Bielski (Kadima) initiated a bill designed to deter hit-andrun drivers by allowing judges to impose a maximum prison sentence of 14 years, double that of the seven years currently allowed.