Harrowing testimony from deadly bus crash

Man injured when bus overturned on his car leaves hospital to attend funeral of his wife and 3 children.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Scene of bus crash in northern Israel
Scene of bus crash in northern Israel
David Cohen/Flash90

Smadar Hadad, an intern at the Bnei Akiva branch in Harish, spoke to the Knesset Channel about the fatal bus crash which occurred in the Upper Galilee yesterday and left five people dead and 57 injured.

"While we were driving back and forth, the driver braked in a frightening way and we flew back and forth, I said to myself that maybe this was a driver who was not so suitable for children because we shouted and got excited," Hadad recalled.

"On the way back he started normally, I was on the phone and saw what was being sent to me. I suddenly saw a deviation from the path, I heard a boom and I understood - we were falling. I closed my eyes, I opened them, saw my instructor on top of me and flying glass.

"I held onto the seats and we rolled three or four times. I remember I opened my eyes and I was in an overturned bus. I got out through a shattered window and saw children in shock. My instructor was crying and I told her 'I can't breathe, maybe I'm having an anxiety attack'. I got into an ambulance and we went to Ziv Hospital," Hadad added.

Reuven Ben Eli, who was injured in the accident, left Rambam Hospital Thursday afternoon to attend the funeral of his wife and three children who perished in the accident.

Medical staff accompanied Ben Eli lying on a stretcher. After the funeral, he will return to hospital and continue recovery at Rambam Hospital in Haifa.

Ami Ben Eli, Reuven's brother, told Galai Tzahal (IDF Radio): '' At first he did not believe that this whole story was really happening, but that he was in a dream and would soon wake up. He understands that he needs to go to a funeral and say goodbye to his loved ones in a dignified way. Reuven remembers the whole accident until the moment the bus overturned on them."

The funerals of Moran Ben Eli (35) and her children Dekel (15), Liam (11) and Ana'el (5), were held at 3 PM Thursday afternoon at the old cemetery in Ma'alot.

"This is a sweet and beautiful family, we cannot understand the magnitude of the disaster at all," Reuven's brother told 103FM. Ami updated on his brother's medical condition: "My brother is still anesthetized and on a ventilator, the next few hours are critical."

Dvir Neria, a guide who was on the overturned bus, recalled: "We drove back from the trip. The descents from the mountain were winding. I felt the bus suddenly gaining momentum, losing control and then we collided with something. Glass flew in all directions, campers shouted. After it finished rolling over, we first checked that all the campers were fine. Thank G-d it did not end worse."