Berta Schwartz
Berta SchwartzCourtesy of the family

An American woman has been identified as one of the victims of Sunday night’s deadly bus crash near Ben Gurion International Airport.

Seventy-one-year-old Berta Schwartz, who was travelling with her husband, Baruch, was killed when the Egged line 947 bus they were riding on crashed into a bus stop on Route 40 Sunday night.

According to a report by Yediot Aharonot Tuesday, the couple were visiting Israel for the first time in nine years, and were expecting the birth of their 18th grandchild soon.

Baruch and Berta Schwartz celebrated their 41st wedding anniversary last Thursday.

That same day, Berta insisted on writing out her will.

On Sunday, the couple drove from Petah Tikva, where they were renting an apartment, to the Western Wall in Jerusalem.

“Because she said she had to be at the Western Wall,” said Baruch.

“She took a pack of dollars with her and handed them out there to everyone, she was so happy to be at the Western Wall. Afterwards we went to eat in the Jewish Quarter, and she was very happy.”

When the bus the couple were riding on Sunday night strayed out of its lane and crashed into a bus stop, Baruch was sitting in the row behind Berta, and survived the crash.

“For more than half an hour I was yelling: ‘Where is she? Where is she?’ She was underneath the concrete [of the bus stop]. I remember going out and shouting ‘Get the firefighters, my wife is under the concrete’.”

Berta Schwartz is survived by her husband, Baruch, her two daughters and one son, and seventeen grandchildren, with an 18th expected to be born in the next two weeks.

Two other victims killed in the crash have been identified as Hailey Varenberg, a resident of Jerusalem, and 79-year-old Yosef Kahalani, a resident of the central Israeli city of Petah Tikva.

A fourth victim’s identity has yet to be cleared for publication.

Fourteen others were injured in the crash, including the driver, 44-year-old Haifa resident Alexander Leibman.

Leibman was arrested on suspicion of negligent driving.

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