Truck driver indicted for negligently causing the death of a young Messianic couple and their baby son

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car crash
source: Israeli police

Five months after Rodrigo and Sophie Rosetsky and their baby Ittai were killed by a truck plowing into their car, the driver of the truck, Joseph Cohen, has been indicted. Cohen, 32, has a previous record of 6 criminal charges and 16 traffic offenses, including running against a red light and using his phone while driving.

The accident occurred on July 11th 2019. The car of Rodrigo and Sophie Rostetsky was parked at the side of the road. Their 2-year-old girl, Ruthie, was also in the car. When the truck plowed into them, Sophie and Ittai died instantly, while Rodrigo succumbed to his wounds in the hospital after having been in a coma for one week. Ruthie survived.

The indictment reads that Cohen “swerved into the shoulder for no apparent reason and dragged the Rosetsky family’s car until it stopped at the traffic island.” Cohen is charged under three different paragraphs of reckless driving and causing death. The prosecutor has asked the court to revoke Cohen’s driver’s license until the verdict. According to previous reports, Cohen said he bent down to retrieve a cigarette he dropped and lost control of the vehicle.

Sophie Rosetsky and her son, Itay (Photo: Facebook)

According to the indictment, Cohen has been driving since 2011 and has 16 previous traffic offenses. These include defying road signs, using the phone while driving, driving against a red light, and swerving away from his lane. In addition, Cohen has a criminal record which includes threats, defying court orders, hindering police, drug possession, assault, and bike theft.

Sophie’s brother, Matthew Riling, said: “The only thing that my family and I want him to know is that we forgive him. Because of Christ Jesus and the forgiveness that he gave to us, we choose to forgive him as well. We hope the light of Christ will be real to him and his family.”

Rodrigo was an office in the Israeli Air Force. Shira Sorko-Ram, of Maoz Israel, who attended their funeral on July 21st wrote on her Facebook page: “Something happened which was a first in modern Israel. I estimate there were close to 1000 people at the funeral – about half of them soldiers and pilots and officers, including several generals. … For 45 minutes, members of the family and friends from their congregation spoke about his life and what it stood for. They spoke about his family’s faith in Yeshua HaMashiach. Rodrigo had let his light shine and was a role model of a true believer. His fellow soldiers testified of what a lovable person he was, and his superior told of what a hard worker he was who always carried out whatever orders he was given. In life, he passed the test, and in death hundreds of soldiers heard the Good News.”

Rodrigo and Sophie Rosetsky (Photo: Facebook)

Hebrew media reported on the indictment, and respectfully used the words “Messianic” and “Yeshua” when referring to the faith of the couple. One article stated that Sophie’s brother’s farewell post on Facebook received many comforting comments, including quotes from the New Testament.