Driver Who Killed Border Policeman May Have Been Drunk

A Border Policeman died before dawn yesterday, shortly after a military vehicle ran over him near the Ramat Yishai junction.

Border Policeman Aiman Hanifas, 32 of Shfaram, was standing at a police checkpoint on road 77 between the Hamovil and Ramat Yishai intersections, when a military vehicle traveling west swerved to the opposite side of the road and hit him at 4 A.M., injuring him critically. He died shortly afterward.

Public Security Minister Avi Dicther and Police Commissioner David Cohen were among the many mourners who attended Hanifas' funeral procession in Shfaram yesterday.

Hanifas was married and father to a three-year-old girl and a baby son who celebrated his first birthday last Saturday. He had served in the Jerusalem area for 11 years, until recently requesting to be transferred closer to home to be near his family, his cousin Zaid Hanifas said.

"His family was the most important thing in the world to him. This was his first or second shift in the new posting," he said.

The driver of the car that ran down Hanifas - a First Sergeant Major in the Golani's 12th brigade - was apparently driving under the influence of alcohol or had fallen asleep, police said.

A blood alcohol test showed the driver, who was detained for questioning, was over the legal limit. But police still were waiting for the driver's blood test results, the head of the police district traffic accident department, Chief Inspector Uzi Hadar, said.

The driver said he had been returning to Nahariya from a party at a friend's house in Herzliya, and had no recollection of what happened after the Fureidis interchange.

"At the time of accident he was facing Ramat Yishai, it's not clear how he even arrived at the accident spot and it's not so important after he took a man's life and ruined a family," Hadar said.

The driver, whose name was not released by the IDF, was handed over to the Military Police after preliminary questioning. He has a record of 10 light traffic violations.