Fund set up for teen hit by car on way to Yom Kippur services

NEW YORK (JTA) — A fund has been launched to help an Israeli girl living in Florida who was hit by a car on the way to Yom Kippur services in an accident that killed her mother.

Orly Ohayon, 16, and her mother, Esther, 57, were struck while walking to the Etz Haim Synagogue in Mandarin, a Jacksonville suburb, for Kol Nidre services. Esther Ohayon died at the scene.


Along with helping Orly with medical costs, the fund also will help pay to transport Esther’s body to Israel for burial.

Orly remains in critical condition in the intensive care unit at the University of Florida Health Hospital after undergoing surgery on Saturday, but was making progress, according to the fundraising website established by her first cousin, Karen Brown.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the fund had raised more than $50,000, the site reported.

Relatives of Esther Ohayon told the Israeli news website Ynet that she was planning to return to Israel once her daughter graduated. Esther Ohayon was predeceased by her husband.

Orly is a regional board member of the National Council of Synagogue Youth and had attended an NCSY program this summer.

NCSY, a program for Orthodox youth, is coordinating  a donation and prayer campaign for Orly.

The driver of the Toyota Camry that hit the Ohayons as they crossed the street was detained at the scene, the Florida Times-Union’s website reported. The Florida Highway Patrol was investigating whether the driver — Michael Fortunato of Jacksonville, according to Florida Highway Patrol documents — ran a red light or was under the influence of alcohol, Highway Patrol spokesman Dylan Bryan said.