Israeli father and daughter killed in fatal crash in Ramsgate

Noga Hirshfeld was a physicist working in Cambridge


A Jewish Cambridge physicist and her father have died after a sportscar ploughed into her Israeli family-of-five in Ramsgate.

Noga Hirshfeld, 40, died from injuries sustained in the horror smash outside a multi-storey car park in the Kent town’s Leopold Street at around 9.35pm on Wednesday.

A black Alfa Romeo crashed into them as they stood at the side of the road.

Her father, Yoram Hirshfeld, believed to be 78, was also killed after being injured in the crash.

According to an online profile, Noga was an experienced algorithm engineer and R&D physicist. She also volunteered with the Guides.

A schoolgirl of primary school age also suffered serious injuries in the crash and was taken to a London hospital for treatment.

A man in his 40s and a boy of primary school age also sustained minor injuries. Police have confirmed that the family were not local to the area. 

Marc-Pierre Campos, 56, who owns Marc-Pierre's Kitchen, a restaurant near the crash site said the images of the incident will stay with him for the rest of his life.

He told the Daily Mail: "There was a big loud bang and a crash and then customers and my staff went rushing down and started shouting for someone to call the emergency services.

"I called them and they asked which service do you need and I said we need all three.

"A fire brigade was needed to pull the car off the woman. And it was clear the police need to be involved too.

"That image will stay with me for the rest of my life."

A bystander Anastasiya, 42, who didn't want to give her second name, said: 'It was a big crash. A car was driving down the road while people were waiting for the bus.

"I was there just after it happened and called the ambulance and the police and they came really quickly. They arrived around 10pm.

"The police have told us the family were from Israel."

Anastasiya, who has lived in Ramsgate for five years and works near the crash site, said she saw the fire brigade lifting the car off a woman before medics tried to resuscitate her with CPR.

She said: 'The mum was under the car and the fire brigade used a fork lift to get her out.

'They then did CPR on her but she had no chance of surviving.

'They tried but she was already dead.'

Mayor of Ramsgate Cllr Raushan Ara, who held a vigil at the scene the following evening, said her heart goes out to the family.

Reacting to the tragedy, she said: "It's so sad. I was frightened last night because there so many police cars and ambulances - and the fire engines were going up and down until 11pm.'

Cllr Ara added that the incident reinforces the need for 'speed controls' in the town, reducing the limit to 20mph.

She added: 'We have been fighting for this for many years.'

Ramsgate was a particularly popular area among the Jewish community in the 19th century, when a tailor named Levi Abraham married a woman from a Dover family and opened a shop on the coastal town's High Street.

The Jewish community grew when Sir Moses Montefiore moved to the area in 1822, before erecting a synagogue in 1833.

A spokesman for Kent Police said: 'Officers attended and a 30-year-old man from Ramsgate was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and leaving the scene of a collision.

"He is also currently receiving hospital treatment for minor injuries.

"Enquiries into the incident are being carried out by officers from the Serious Collision Investigation Unit who are keen to hear from any witnesses, local businesses with CCTV evidence or drivers with relevant dashcam footage."

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