Driver fell asleep, drove off cliff to his death

Rabbi Yosef Baruch Ronen, 45, of Beitar Illit, killed in car accident after falling asleep at the wheel.

Haim Lev ,

The scene of the crash
The scene of the crash
Flash 90

Rabbi Yosef Baruch Ronen, a resident of the city of Beitar Illit south of Jerusalem, was killed Tuesday night after his car strayed from the road – and went over a cliff.

The incident occurred around the Daragot Cliffs around Nahal Daragot in the Judean Desert south of Jerusalem.

According to emergency responders and local police, it appears that Ronen fell asleep on the road, causing his car to swerve off the edge and over the cliff, falling some 200 feet (60 meters).

Due to the rough terrain and difficulty in reaching the vehicle at the bottom of the steep cliff, the recovery operation was only completed Wednesday morning, following hours of efforts by the Megillot Regional Council rescue team, in conjunction with Judea and Samaria District police.

“After long hours of rescue [efforts],” a recovery team spokesperson said, “the body was recovered and returned [to the family] in the early hours of the morning.”

Rabbi Ronen was 45 years old, and he leaves behind a wife and nine children. He served as leader of a community of Breslov Hasidim in Beitar Illit.

His funeral is scheduled for Wednesday in Jerusalem.