The Bernstein family
The Bernstein family Flash90

Yaakov Yeshurun, who was charged with causing the deaths of a family of seven, has been offered a choice of a mere six months community service, or 2 years in prison.

In 2010 the accused had offered to give a ride to the Bernstein family. On the way, Yeshurun's vehicle became stuck on the train tracks when he attempted to cross them after the warning lights were already flashing.

When the train struck the vehicle, seven members of the family were killed. Additionally, dozens of train passengers were wounded in the incident.

The expected punishment in such a case would be 21 years in prison, but by diffusing some of the blame to the Israel Railways and the Transportation Ministry, the defendant's lawyer managed to reduce his client's sentence drastically.

This Thursday, a new indictment will be issued on basis of an agreement between both sides.

The Israel Railways and Transportation Ministry have been blamed for much of the disaster. Due to improper maintenance, the train went into a skid while attempting to brake; the Israel Railways did not sufficiently maintain the electronic warning systems; likewise the lookout failed to warn the train driver; the many signs placed around this particular crossing seem to have dazzled the driver, as well as restricting his visibility of the entire crossing.

In light of all of these failures, the defense for Mr. Yeshurun (attorney Yigal Tamir) succeeded in reducing his punishment, despite the original charge that he completely disregarded the warning lights that meant that there was an approaching train. Mr. Yeshurun disputed this, claiming that the warning lights turned on just before he passed over the tracks, not giving him the opportunity to reverse direction.