Hundreds of people turned out in northern Israel on Friday for the funeral of two young siblings killed in a traffic collision during a family vacation in Georgia earlier this week.
Five-year-old Nevo Grinfeld and his 10-year-old sister Ahinoam were killed, while father Hanoch, mother Noa, 11-year-old Yiftah and 7-year-old Ivri were all injured. Hanoch and Ivri were released from hospital on Thursday, but Noa remains hospitalized in serious condition and Yiftah is said to be suffering moderate injuries.
In an emotional eulogy during the funeral at Mitzpe Netufa in the Galilee, Hanoch asked his children to “forgive me for failing to keep you safe.”
“The children ask me when Ahinoam and Nevo will return. How do I explain to them? How do I explain to myself?” he said.
The children’s grandfather, Eli Porat, also delivered a eulogy, expressing his sadness that the two would never answer his call again.
The tragedy occurred Monday night, when the family’s jeep overturned due to bad visibility on a trail in the Tusheti region of Georgia. The vehicle reportedly fell into a crevice, rolling some 60 meters (180 feet) down a hill, sparking an all-night rescue operation.
The family and friends began a fundraising campaign to help pay for the cost of the accident, some NIS 600,000 ($150,000), and reached its target within one day.
The campaign began as it was initially unclear who would pay the expenses of the tragedy, including the rescue by Georgian emergency personnel, transferring the injured to local hospitals and securing a private plane to return the family to Israel during Yom Kippur, when there are no scheduled flights to the Jewish state. Relatives said the family also paid for the transfer of the two children’s bodies to Israel.
The AIG insurance company said it would help the family meet costs, despite the fact that only Hanoch Grinfeld was insured with them.
“To our regret, only the father was insured, but after talking to relatives, the company decided to go above and beyond its duty and help with a significant amount of money. The company shares the family’s sorrow, and wishes the injured a quick recovery and full rehabilitation,” the Ynet news website quoted the company as saying.
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