Charges upped against Arab driver who killed mother, baby ‘testing out’ new car

The court rejected the police request to re-arrest the 18-year-old driver even though the charges will be more severe than first thought.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

On Friday, Israeli police upped the charges against an Arab driver who killed a mother and baby to negligent manslaughter, which carries a sentence of up to 12 years’ imprisonment.

The decision was based on new evidence from eyewitnesses.

However, the court rejected Sunday a police request to re-arrest the Arab driver who also seriously injured the father and 12-year-old son in a traffic accident caused by his wild driving on Nov. 30.

Tarek Kurd, 18, crashed into the car of the Rimmel family of Neve Tzuf Saturday night, November 30, instantly killing the mother, Tzippi, and her three-week old baby, Noam. The father, Ephraim, and 12-year-old son, Itai, were taken to the hospital with severe injuries, as was Kurd himself.

After it was determined that he wasn’t intoxicated or on drugs, the police recommended that Kurd be released on Thursday.

However, as new evidence emerged, a police representative said, “The respondent turned the road into his private experimental track in order to test a car he had bought. He accelerated his vehicle to insane speeds while endangering passengers on the road. The drive was to test the car. We know this because he said so.”

However, the judge refused the police request, saying that the police had known about Kurd’s reckless speeding even on Thursday.

Meanwhile. a fundraising campaign on the Jgive site has collected over two million shekels in a few days for the stricken family.

Initiated by neighbors in their community with the help of a charity organization, the “first million,” it was established to meet the immediate needs of the family: The father and son, who are still in very serious condition, and three other children, aged nine, seven and three.

They intend to raise an additional three million shekels to help with future medical expenses and make the family home completely wheelchair accessible, as Ephraim was badly injured in his spine and has a long road to recovery before him.

One source of funding is the community in Chicago, Illinois, where Ephraim and Tzippi served as emissaries several years ago.

“This tragedy has hit the whole Jewish community in Chicago,” Joel Gornstein, a family relative, told Ynet.

“I hope that the donations will show what an amazing influence the Rimmel family had on the whole Jewish community. Not just in Neve Tzuf, Israel or Chicago, but the whole world. Such a generous and wonderful family.”