Four people, including a 13-year-old girl and a four-year-old boy, were killed Saturday in a collision between a truck transporting new vehicles and two separate vehicles on Route 90 near the town of Paran in the Arava desert.
Magen David Adom teams at the scene pulled a 65-year-old man and the two children traveling with him from the first car, but were forced to declare them dead. A 40-year-old man in the vehicle suffered moderate to severe injuries and was taken by helicopter to Soroka medical center in Beersheba.
In the second car, a 40-year-old woman was pronounced dead by paramedics. A 40-year-old man traveling with her suffered moderate injuries and was also taken by helicopter to Soroka medical center.
Police launched an investigation into the circumstances of the collision. There was no immediate information on the cause.
It was also unclear if the driver of the truck was injured.
Route 90, Israel’s longest highway, runs along the eastern boundary from Metula in the north to Eilat in the south. Most of the road is decades old and currently consists of only one lane in each direction, with no divider. Its length and characteristics have made it one of the country’s deadliest routes.
According to the Ynet news site, the area of the crash has witnessed 81 road deaths in less than two decades.
A number of fatal crashes in recent years have sparked calls for significant safety upgrades on the road, which also traverses the West Bank.