Tuesday, February 17, the Supreme court dismissed the appeal of Edward Gelfond, the bus driver, collapsed into the abyss near Eilat. The accident occurred in December 2008, and as a result of an accident killed 24 Russian travel agent.
Gelfond was found guilty of manslaughter, wounding and grievous bodily harm. The driver was sentenced to eight years in prison, two years of imprisonment conditionally and deprived of the licence for a period of 25 years.
The Supreme court also dismissed the appeal of the Prosecutor’s office, demanding tougher punishment. According to the judges, «of the offence the driver can be classified as the easiest in this area of crime.»
16 December 2008 a group of travel agents from St. Petersburg came to Israel to get acquainted with the tourist infrastructure of the city. The bus that was to deliver them to the city from the airport «Ovda», fell into the abyss steady sixty on highway 12.
According to the investigation, the cause of the accident was committed by Gelfond dangerous maneuver: driving with excessive speed on a winding mountain road, he attempted to overtake another bus, but has not coped with management. In the accident 24 people were killed and 33 were injured.
In the indictment it was noted that the driver was familiar with the route and gave the report that his actions are dangerous. However, he went on a calculated risk by starting overtaking on a site with limited visibility, moving with a speed of 98 km/h – almost 20km/h faster than allowed.
The defense argued that Gelfond was driving no faster than 70 km/h, and the culprit of the accident was the driver of the second bus. However, the judge Celia Safed agreed with the prosecution, ruling that Edward, as an experienced driver, had to realize the danger of his actions.