Bus driver arrested after four killed in crash

Egged bus driver who crashed into bus stop near Ben Gurion Airport, killing 4 and injuring 14, arrested after being questioned by police.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Scene of the accident
Scene of the accident
Aviv Hertz/TPS

The bus driver involved in Sunday night’s deadly crash on Route 40 near Ben Gurion International Airport in central Israel has been arrested, after police questioned him in connection with the accident.

The driver, a 44-year-old resident of the northern coastal city of Haifa, is under investigation for negligent driving resulting in the deaths of four people killed in Sunday night’s accident.

Three women and one man were killed when the Egged line 947 bus, which was driving from Jerusalem to Haifa, swerved off of Route 40 and crashed into a bus stop.

In addition to the four people killed, 14 people were injured in the accident, including the driver, who suffered moderate injuries. A woman aged 67 and a woman aged 19 were evacuated in serious condition to the Sheba Hospital in Tel Hashomer, and 12 victims in light-to-moderate condition were evacuated to the Assaf Harofeh, Beilinson and Sharon hospitals.

Police arrested the driver at the end of his interrogation in Beilinson Hospital in Petach Tikva, and he is expected to be brought before the Rishon Letzion Magistrate’s Court Monday morning for an extension of his arrest.

The four victims killed in the accident have yet to be identified.

Their remains were recovered from the crash and taken to the Abu Kabir forensic institute to be identified.

The accident occurred at about 7:40 p.m. The bus approached a stop made out of concrete at the Bedek Junction, and for an unknown reason veered off the road and crashed into it. The ceiling of the bus stop crushed the occupants of the bus, killing four of them.

Lieutenant Hai Mizrahi, an officer at the Traffic Division of the Central Division of the Israel Police, said at the scene, "We are currently in the initial stages of the investigation. Apparently and according to initial findings, the bus driver lost control and as a result hit the stop. When the rescue forces arrived, we saw four fatalities in the accident, another 14 passengers have been evacuated to different hospitals in different conditions.”

Egged Transportation said, "Near the intersection of the Israel Aerospace Industries, the bus veered off the road for an unknown reason and hit the concrete stop. The circumstances of the accident, the veering off the road and the hitting of the structure will be investigated by police when the process of evacuating the casualties concludes. We express deep sorrow over the deaths of the passengers.”

Transportation Minister Bezalel Smotrich, who arrived at the scene of the accident, said afterwards, "Shocked to the depths of my soul by the scene of the accident on Highway 40. It is too early to draw conclusions, but an analysis of the all fatal accidents of recent times raises one common denominator: Error by the driver.”

“The infrastructure is forgiving and yet the results are tragic. We have to take responsibility. I beg of you - leave all the distractions aside and concentrate 100% on driving," Smotrich asked the drivers. “I pray for the recovery of the injured, share in the grief of the families, and thank the rescue forces for their holy work."