Eyewitness to deadly bus crash
'Bus was out of control - it was not the driver's fault'

'The bus was not in the driver's control. People are very quick to write things about which they have no clue.'

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

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

A day after bus driver Asher Basson, 76, was laid to rest following the deadly road accident on Route 89 during which he and four members of the Ben Eli family were killed, the third driver involved in the accident, Yossi Elbaz, emphasized that Basson was not to blame for the tragedy.

"Already from hundreds of meters away, it was possible to identify that the bus was out of control," Elbaz told Kan News. "And this is what caused me to get off the road."

"I wanted her to know that it was not in his control," Elbaz said, referring to Basson's wife. "I don't know what kind of distress the driver was under, or what mechanical malfunction the bus had. But something there was out of control."

"I saw that on social media...people are very quick to [write things] about which they have no clue and do not understand at all," Elbaz added. "So it was very important to me that his wife should know what really happened."

Elbaz, who visited Basson's family after the accident, said that Basson's wife had been "very happy to finally hear something true, instead of disinformation from somewhere, because she doesn't know what to believe or not to believe. I think it encouraged her, and that was worth all three hours of the drive [to Basson's family]."

Elbaz said that he had given police footage from his dashboard camera at the time of the accident. "I really hope they will bring a little comfort to the family," he concluded.

Basson on Friday was laid to rest at the Tel Regev cemetery in the Krayot.

Ynet reported that Basson's son Ido spoke during the funeral, saying that his father "sacrificed himself for the sake of others, also on the road. For 50 years he was an annoyingly professional and careful driver."

"He fought in all the Israeli wars as a combat medic, there was a joker who loved life," the son said. "A devoted father, a hard-working man who did everything with devotion. We say goodbye to you in a way we never imagined would happen. Even when he was a firefighter after the army, during the Katyushas, ​​he was one of the first to run into the hell, saving people physically and mentally."

"It's important for us that they should know who you really were, you really were a real hero. The memory left of Dad is a bus, and then comes the smile, a smile full of warmth. When I look at our family here, I see you in everyone's faces. I hope we grow stronger with family and friends. All the people of Israel look out for one another - remember this. Rest in peace, Father."

One of those present at the funeral shouted: "They made him out to be a murderer, he has been driving for 50 years and has not had one accident. It is not his fault, it is not his fault, he tried to save the children."

The police investigation revealed that Basson's bus deviated from its lane on Route 89 and hit several cars.

According to ynet, Police sources confirmed that initial results of the autopsy of the bus driver - who suffered heart problems and even underwent bypass surgery - could not determine or rule out whether a heart attack caused Basson to deviate from the travel route. The investigation is being led by Inspector Maor Cohen, head of the Road Accidents Section in the Kinneret area.