Two young mothers bringing their families to holiday nature hikes were among seven Israelis killed and dozens more injured in traffic accidents across the country on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Tali Hildesheim, 35, and Ortal Bar-Moha, 29, were each driving with their families when they crashed into each other on Highway 40, near Beersheba.
Hildesheim’s husband and four children, ages 4 to 12, survived the crash but suffered various injuries and were taken to the nearby Soroka Hospital for treatment. They were on their way from their home in Holon, on the coast, to a three-day hike in the Negev.
Bar-Moha, of Kiryat Gat, was killed in the head-on collision, while her two children, ages 6 and 2, were being treated in a children’s intensive care unit.
Passengers in both vehicles needed to be extracted by firefighters. One of the firemen on the scene said it “resembled a war zone.”
Another woman was killed when her car collided with a truck at the entrance to Even Shmuel, also in the south of the country. The truck driver and a passenger were lightly injured in the crash.
Initial reports said that one of the drivers drove through a red light.
A 40-year-old man was killed after his car collided with a truck near Nazareth. A female passenger sitting next to him was badly injured.
A 17-year-old who lost control of his vehicle near Daliyat al-Karmel late Tuesday night was pronounced dead by doctors in Haifa’s Rambam Hospital.
Seventeen people were lightly injured in a collision between two buses in Tel Aviv.
Traffic jams were reported across the country Wednesday because of the prevalence of travelers and sightseers taking advantage of the Passover holiday and the pleasant weather.
More than 200,000 people visited Israel’s National Parks across the country.
Magen David Adom CEO Elie Bean urged motorists to pay more attention while driving.
“During the holiday, while the roads are especially busy and cars are carrying extra passengers and equipment, drivers must use extra caution to prevent loss of life,” said Bean.
Police officers told Ynet that such a deadly day on the roads had not been seen in years, and noted that “the human element” was to blame for the casualties.