Israel Prize winner Professor of Mathematics, David Kazhdan, is fighting for his life - after being knocked down in a traffic accident on Sunday morning.
Professor Kazdhan was hit by a tractor trailer while riding with his son. The driver did not stop at the scene of the accident.
Kazhdan, Professor of Mathematics at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, received the prestigious Israel prize in 2012 in recognition of his important contributions to group theory, a cornerstone of mathematics with applications in fields such as physics, quantum theory and computer science. The awards committee described him as "one of the world's leading mathematicians in recent decades."
"My father rides regularly, despite his age," Kazhdan's son Eli told Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, "he's an excellent cyclist."
He and his father were about to complete a 70km trail, in preparation for a 100km ride, when the accident took place.
"We left Jerusalem to ride to Bet Shemesh and back. I rode ahead of him, but when we were near to home, at around 11 am, I heard the noise of something hitting a bicycle. I turned around and saw him lying on the ground."
Eli said that the Magen David Adom emergency ambulance service and police arrived at the scene very quickly after the accident. "I trust the police will do their work and catch the offending driver.. who didn't even stop to help," he said.
Kazhdan, a father of four and grandfather of four, was born in Russia and in 1975 moved to the USA taking a post as the Head of Mathematics Department at Harvard University.
In 2004, Kazhdan and his family emigrated to Israel, where he has was appointed full professor (professor min haminyan) at the Hebrew University -receiving international acclaim for his research.
"All of the family are here at the hospital and we are praying for him," Eli added, "his condition is very serious and we hope that he recovers fast and returns to himself."
Last week, eleven year old Oren Ben-Baruch was killed close to the same site of the accident when he was riding his bicycle and was hit by a truck.