Drunk Bedouin driver kills ‘salt of the earth’ volunteer cop in suspected car-ramming

Five men from the Bedouin city of Rahat are under investigation for murder.

By World Israel News Staff

A volunteer police officer who had worked with the city of Rishon LeTzion’s traffic division for some 16 years was killed at a sobriety checkpoint on Friday night, after a speeding car blew past the barriers and plowed into three security officials.

Amichai Carmeli, a 46-year-old father of two, was standing near the checkpoint near the Beit Dagan interchange when a car suspected of being involved in a hit-and-run several minutes earlier failed to stop at the barrier.

The driver of the car did not slow down as required when approaching the checkpoint and hit a police vehicle and two volunteers at the scene, killing Carmeli instantly.

The other victims of the car ramming are hospitalized but expected to survive.

After striking the volunteers, the driver and several of the passengers, who are all from the southern Bedouin town of Rahat, fled the vehicle and were captured after a short police chase.

One of the occupants in the vehicle was seriously injured in the crash and is also hospitalized.

“As soon we heard that he died — or actually, was murdered — I started screaming so loud that I woke up all the neighbors,” Yuval Carmeli, the deceased’s daughter, told Ynet.

Carmeli’s family told Hebrew-language media that his grandfather, Moshe, was a police officer who had been killed in the line of duty during the Yom Kippur War.

“Amichai was the salt of the earth. His entire purpose in life was to be a Good Samaritan,” Carmeli’s close friend, Rami Bakshi, told Ynet.

“All of his life, he was focused on defending civilians and victims of crime, and that’s how his life ended.”

In a statement, police said that they are conducting the investigation on the assumption that the ramming will be investigated as a reckless homicide, which is equivalent to voluntary manslaughter.

If the prosecution can prove that the vehicle’s driver knew his actions had a reasonable chance of resulting in the death of others, he will face a lengthier prison sentence than that for reckless driving or vehicular manslaughter.