State prosecutors said Monday they intend to file an indictment against the driver who was involved in a deadly head-on collision that killed an entire family of eight last month.
The charges were expected to include manslaughter and driving under the influence of cannabis, according to Hebrew media reports.
Laurent Ankri, 52, from Giv’on Hahadasha was driving an SUV when the vehicle apparently drifted into the opposite lane and smashed into a minivan coming in the other direction along Route 90 near the Dead Sea.
The entire Atar family — Yariv Atar, 45, and his wife Shoshi, 47, and their children Yaakov Yisrael, 12, Ateret, 11, Ayelet, 9, Moriah, 7, Yedid, 5, and Avigail, 3 — was killed in the crash. The family lived in the West Bank settlement of Psagot.
Police found cannabis in Ankri’s car after the crash and he was subjected to a blood test.
Beersheba Magistrate’s Court on Monday extended Anrki’s arrest by four days.
Police said earlier they had completed the investigation into the deadly road accident.
Ankri says he was blinded by the sun, causing him to veer into oncoming traffic. His wife and daughter, who were in the SUV with him at the time, were injured in the crash.
The minivan carrying the Atar family ignited following the accident and some of the dead were killed in the blaze, according to rescuers. By the time firefighters managed to extinguish the flaming car, the trapped passengers had died.
Earlier in the month, two parents and their 10-month-old baby were killed in head-on collision with a bus on the same highway in the same area.
Transportation Minister Israel Katz has ordered a plan be put together to widen Route 90 into a two-lane highway in each direction rather than its current single lanes, the Hebrew media Ynet website reported Sunday citing ministry sources.
The project, expected to cost some NIS 10-15 billion ($2.7-4 billion), would likely be carried out as a Public Private Partnership, a ministry source revealed.
Route 90 runs from the country’s northern border all the way to Eilat in the extreme south. The expansion project would cover most of the road’s 480-kilometer (300-mile) route, the report said.