Reuven Ben Eli and his late wife Moran
Reuven Ben Eli and his late wife MoranCourtesy of the family

Reuven Ben Eli, the father who was severely wounded in a traffic accident in northern Israel, regained consciousness on Thursday morning, Israel Hayom reported.

He has now been informed of the deaths of his wife Moran, 35, and children Dekel (15), Liam (12) and Anael (5), who were driving with him in the family vehicle at the time of the crash.

Reuven, 36, is now in moderate to serious condition, and he is hospitalized in the ICU at Rambam Health Care Campus in Haifa.

Later on Thursday, he will be transferred to the surgical ward.

The funeral of Moran, Dekel, Liam, and Anael will be held later on Thursday.

Reuven's brother Ami told 103 FM Radio: "It's important to us to bring my sister-in-law, niece, and nephews to rest as quickly as possible. Any kind of delay desecrates the honor of the dead. It's a dream that is reality, I simply don't even know to say how I feel, I can't describe it."

He added: "We were preparing for the bar mitzvah of my nephew, who was killed yesterday. About 4-5 months before the bar mitzvah there are preparations for the whole family. He had already started to learn for it, and it already won't happen."

At the time of the crash, the Ben Eli family had been on their way to a family celebration in Hatzor.

"It started as something good that we wanted to do as a family, and in the end this disaster exploded in our faces," Ami told 103 FM. "I have a brother who lives there, and he wanted to do a kind of thanksgiving meal, we were all supposed to gather in the synagogue in Hatzor. We finished the afternoon prayer and then we received the worst news of all."

Also hospitalized at Rambam is an 11-year-old girl who was injured in the crash. She is unconscious and on a respirator in the pediatric ICU, in serious condition and suffering from a head injury.

Dr. Hany Bahouth, Director of Rambam's Trauma and Emergency Center, said, "Both of them are in stable condition. The adult patient progressed excellently overnight, the girl is still hospitalized in the pediatric ICU unconscious and on a respirator."

Hospitalized at Ziv Medical Center in Tzfat are one boy who is in the ICU, and 16 other children who are in light to moderate condition, as well as four adults in light condition.

Earlier on Thursday, Maariv reported that the bus driver, 76-year-old Asher Bason, had 51 prior convictions for traffic violations. Police investigations show that Bason, who died in the crash, veered out of his lane in a no-pass zone, hitting the guardrail and three private vehicles.