Wife’s plea for justice after husband’s death

Wife’s plea for justice after husband’s death

While the search to find the driver who struck and killed her husband continues, Jivanna Bennaeim said the Great Neck peninsula needs additional safety measures to make drivers more aware of their surroundings.
Oren Bennaeim, her husband, was struck in a hit-and-run accident on Sept. 30 while on his way to work. He died six days later at the age of 43.
“He’s gone, but I would hate to see it happen again,” Bennaeim said. “Great Neck is a great town, and I have nothing bad to say about it, but I think people are so busy, so stressed and in such a rush.”
“It would just be nice if it never had to happen again,” she added.
Oren Bennaeim had dropped their son, Tristan, off at school, went to the gym and was on his way to the Long Island Rail Road station to get to his job in the diamond district of New York City when he was struck by a “white or light grey” Nissan Rogue that ran a red light at the intersection of South Middle Neck Road and Barstow Road.
He was transported to North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset for surgery, Bennaeim said, but he never regained consciousness and was pronounced dead six days later.
“What the doctors said was with the impact from the car and impact from him falling, the damage was so irreparable,” she said.
Bennaeim said the news of her husband’s death came as a huge surprise to everybody who knew him given his age and physical health.
She said Oren Bennaeim, who formerly served in the Israeli army as a paratrooper, did not drink or smoke, worked out often and was “super, super healthy.”
“Even though he didn’t die at scene, in some way he kind of did because the damage to his brain was so severe,” Bennaeim said.
She said Det. Gary Ferrucci, who heads the Nassau County Police Department’s traffic crash investigation unit and is investigating the case, and the county’s police force have had a difficult time identifying the driver of the vehicle that struck her husband despite their “great” efforts because of the limited number of cameras in Great Neck.
After the vehicle struck her husband, Bennaeim said, the driver drove southbound and turned west on to Northern Boulevard, where there are red light cameras, but none of them were able to read the vehicle’s license plate.
She said the police were able to get an image of the vehicle on Middle Neck Road from security cameras outside Spectacles, an eye care and eyewear store in Great Neck Plaza, but that camera did not pick up the license plate either.
Ferrucci said he could not speak about the incident as it is an active criminal investigation.
Bennaeim said that she has crossed at the intersection of South Middle Neck Road and Barstow Road, and that she “can just see it can happen again.”
“I think watching the way people drive, I just see how people don’t look,” she said. “People are so thinking about where they’re going that they’re not so conscious about what’s around them, who’s around them.”
Bennaeim said she had contacted Nassau County Legislator Ellen Birnbaum’s office on Dec. 23 about the potential installation of a red light camera at the intersection where her husband was killed, but is awaiting a response from the county’s Public Works Department, which handles those requests.
“I don’t want people to get tickets,” she said. “But I do think it can change people’s consciousness if you have consequences.”
Bennaeim said there is a $10,000 reward offered for anyone with information that could lead Nassau police to the driver.
Anyone with information can contact Ferrucci at 573-7793. Police said anyone with information can also call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-244-TIPS.

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