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Mother & Daughter Hit By Car Going to Yom Kippur Services

Esther Benzohar Ohayon and daughter, Orly, were hit on Friday night by a car while walking to a Jacksonville, FL synagogue.
By Kochava Rozenbaum
First Publish: 9/15/2013, 8:17 AM

Car crash (illustrative)
Car crash (illustrative)
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Friday night, on the eve of Yom Kippur, a woman and her daughter were struck by a car on their way to attend the holiest Jewish services of the year in a synagogue in Jacksonville. 

According to a report by the Florida Times Union, the victims of the tragic accident were Orly Ohayon, 16, and her mother Esther Benzohar Ohayon.

Orly was rushed to the University of Florida Health hospital in Jacksonville where she is still recovering from serious injuries, while the mother was pronounced dead at the scene of the incident. 

According to officials, the pair were crossing the street at the intersection of Haley Road and San Jose Boulevard when a Toyata Camry traveling southbound suddenly hit them. 

Police are involved in an ongoing investigation of the crime. It is undetermined if the driver, identified as Michael Fortunato, was under the influence while driving or if he had ran a red light. Officials detained Fortunado at the scene. 

The mother and daughter were headed to the Etz Chaim Synagogue on San Jose Boulevard. Rabbi Yaakov Fisch of the synagogue has said that the family intends on transporting Esther Ohayon to Israel in order for her to be buried next to her late husband.

Fisch also noted the danger of the San Jose and Haley intersection, particularly for the Orthodox Jewish community who cannot push the button to activate the pedestrian signal for crossing the street on the Sabbath.