Itai Margi
Itai MargiCourtesy of his family

On Tuesday, the Tel Aviv District Court handed down a nine-year sentence to Amir abu Luban, a 21-year-old resident of Ramla, who ran over and caused the death of Itai Margi, an eight-year-old boy, who was riding his bicycle on a Tel Aviv street on Yom Kippur, 2019.

Abu Luban was found guilty of negligent manslaughter and also of trading in illegal substances. In addition to the nine-year sentence, the court ordered Abu Luban to pay NIS 250,000 in compensation to Margi’s family, as well as a fine of NIS 10,000 to the government. His driver’s license was also cancelled for the next decade.

“The circumstances of this incident were extremely grave and had tragic consequences,” said Justice Avraham Heiman. “A boy lost his life when this person left his home to trade in drugs, and, due to his wild and reckless driving, caused the fatal accident. We are not talking about moment of recklessness here – the vehicle literally became a ticking time bomb that caused the death of the deceased.”

According to the original terms of the indictment, on the afternoon of Yom Kippur 2019, Abu Luban arrived in Tel Aviv from Ramla in order to sell drugs to four of his clients from Ramat Gan, Petah Tikva, and Tel Aviv. On his way to an additional destination, the accused traveled down Namir street, and at the junction with Jabotinsky street, he collided with the boy who was riding his bicycle and had just rounded the corner.

The indictment noted that immediately following the collision, while the boy was still lying on the street injured and bleeding, Abu Luban got out of his car and ran to hide the illicit drugs he had with him in nearby bushes, in order to conceal evidence and obstruct the course of justice.

MDA paramedics who arrived at the scene transported Margi to Tel Aviv’s Ichilov hospital, unconscious and suffering from severe head injuries. He died later that day.