Two people in their 60s were killed Monday in a crash on Route 90 in the southern Arava region, bringing the number of road fatalities in Israel this year to 300.
The crash occurred when a car carrying a man and a woman collided with a truck transporting other cars, and with another car.
The victims’ car was crushed, trapping the two inside. They were declared dead at the scene.
The truck driver was taken to Yoseftal Medical Center in Eilat with mild injuries, while the driver of the second car received medical treatment at the scene and didn’t require hospitalization.
There was no immediate information on the cause of the crash.
The collision occurred near Kibbutz Yahel, some 60 kilometers (37 miles) north of Eilat. Several cars that had been atop the transporter truck were knocked off and were strewn on the side of the road.
The desert road is widely considered one of Israel’s deadliest. Earlier this year, the government voted to allocate NIS 110 million ($31.8 million) for safety improvements to the highway.
Route 90, Israel’s longest highway, runs along the eastern boundary from Metula in the north to Eilat in the south, also traversing the West Bank. Most of the road is decades old and currently consists of only one lane in each direction, with no divider.
According to the Ynet news site, the area of the crash has witnessed 12 road deaths this year and 97 in the past decade.
In May, four people, including a 13-year-old girl and a 4-year-old boy, were killed in a collision between a truck transporting new vehicles and two separate vehicles on Route 90 near the town of Paran.