The elementary school principal who ran over an 8-year-old girl and fled the scene of the accident on Saturday was given a hearing by the traffic police yesterday.

Ziva Gruper, principal of the Keshet elementary school in Ashdod, told the police she saw the girl get up after she was hit, and therefore thought nothing had happened and went on her way. This is similar to what she said during the police investigation of the accident.

Gruper said that only after she heard on radio and television that the police were searching for the driver did she contact them to tell them what happened.

She also said she did get out of her car to check on the girl. However, police say that witnesses described her as simply driving off.

"I apologize, I did not mean to hurt her and wish her a healthy recovery," Gruper said. The girl's condition is improving.

Police must now decide whether to suspend Gruper's license for 60 days. They also intend to recommend that she be indicted for leaving the scene of an accident, based on the eyewitness reports, the contradictions in her story and the crime scene evidence.

The accident occurred on Saturday afternoon, as the girl was crossing the street in a crosswalk with her mother near the Ashdod beach.