Police on Thursday morning issued a heartfelt plea to Israelis to drive more safely, after two major accidents Wednesday left seven people dead and six children without their mothers. Two mothers, Tali Hildesheim and Ortal Bar Moha, were killed when their two vehicles crashed head on Road 40 near Be'ersheva. Five of the children who were injured in the accident were still in the hospital Thursday morning receiving treatment for moderate injuries.
According to police, at least one of the drivers was not wearing a seatbelt. Altogether, 24 people were injured in road accidents Wednesday, with a police spokesperson saying on Israel Radio that the roads on the first day of Chol Hamo'ed resembled a “battlefield. I cannot remember a worse day on the roads,” said Bruno Stein of the Police Traffic Unit. “If from the beginning of Passover we caught 250 drunk drivers and many mothers who are texting while driving their kids around, you could imagine the other behavior that led to Wednesday's tragic results.”
Stein said that it was unclear why so many people were driving so poorly this holiday, but noted that heavy traffic at parks, malls, and other places of entertainment could be frustrating for many drivers. Nevertheless, he pleaded with Israelis to drive more safely, especially if they are taking their children for Hol Hamoed trips.