‘It was coming for me’: Drivers recall escape from rocket that blew up on road
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'A few more seconds and I would have died'

‘It was coming for me’: Drivers recall escape from rocket that blew up on road

Several motorists are brought together at scene of explosion that nearly killed them to recount experience, offer support to each other

The moment a rocket slammed into Route 4 near Gan Yavne on November 12, 2019 (Screen grab)
The moment a rocket slammed into Route 4 near Gan Yavne on November 12, 2019 (Screen grab)

Israeli drivers who narrowly escaped when a rocket fired from Gaza slammed into a road and exploded meters from them on Tuesday  gathered to reflect on their narrow escape in interviews broadcast Friday.

The dramatic incident was captured on video and circulated widely on Israeli media. The projectile, one of 450 fired by Gaza terrorists at Israel on Tuesday and Wednesday, blew up in the middle of Route 4 at 9:30 a.m. near Gan Yavne in southern Israel, narrowly missing several vehicles.

The drivers of cars surrounding the impact received only light injuries, while the signs and guard rails around the intersection still bear damage from the rocket’s shrapnel.

There were no warning sirens ahead of the explosion.

Several of the drivers who were on the scene recounted the episode to Channel 13 news.

Mali Hason said she was driving with her dog, Ice, to a shelter for abused women where she volunteers. Her mother had warned her against driving under the threat of rockets but she insisted on going anyway, she said.

Mali Hason at the scene of a rocket strike near Gan Yavne that nearly killed her. (Screenshot/Channel 13)

“The whole way I was planning. ‘If it happens now, I’ll stop here.’ I was planning ahead of time what I would need to do if something happened. I drove through the intersection and I said ‘Great, wonderful, I did it,’” Hason said.

“Then I saw the missile. My first thought was that it was coming for me. There was an explosion that I can’t even describe it,” she said. “The first word that came out of my mouth was ‘Ice.’”

She pulled over and got out of the car with her dog.

Mali Hason with her dog, Ice, at the scene of a rocket explosion that nearly killed them, November 15, 2019. (Channel 13 screenshot)

Revisiting the scene of the explosion for the TV interview, she began to tremble.

“I’m really shaking, sorry. This is hard for me. A few more seconds and I would have died,” she said.

Eyal Makis was driving from his home in Ashkelon to his office in Ness Ziona.

“If there had been a red light I would have been stuck, and things would have ended differently,” he said. “This really brings me back to when it happened, and it’s hard. It’s complicated. It was a lot of luck, a miracle.”

Bus driver Daniel Hazan, who was captured on video watching the rocket hit the street in front of him, said: “When I saw it, it was like I was watching TV. Just like a movie, you all of a sudden see the special effects in front of you.”

“It caught me while I was sipping a drink. I didn’t know if I should swallow, not swallow. What are you supposed to do?” Hazan said.

He got out of the bus and saw that the rocket had broken its windows and caused other damage.

“I understood we had been really lucky,” he said.

Sergey Dazos recovers at home after a rocket explosion sent shard of glass flying in his car, injuring him. (Channel 13 screenshot)

Sergey Dazos was still recovering at his home after shards of glass sent flying by the explosion caused him injuries.

“Suddenly I heard a boom, the car got rocked, and I felt like I had been injured somehow but I still didn’t understand anything,” Dazos said.

“I had all the shards of glass from my car hit me. This is really hard for me. I don’t want to see the place where it happened. It’s a black stain on my life,” he said.

He said he doesn’t remember much of the incident, but recalls Hason with her dog in the car in front of him.

Hason called Dazos during the filming. She encouraged him to visit the site of the explosion, saying it would help him recover. He responded by asking how her dog was.

Hason asked him how he was doing, and he told her, “It really hurts.”

“First of all, you’re speaking, and that’s wonderful,” she said.

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