Atias Crash Site
Atias Crash SiteDanny Eliyahu, Fire and Rescue Services

The family of Rafael and Yehudit Attias reacted Thursday evening to the State Prosecutor’s Office’s announcement that there is no suspicion of wrongdoing in the deaths of the couple and six of their seven children in a tragic car crash last year.

Relatives of the family said they are not satisfied with the report, and will continue pushing for answers.

They said they had not yet received the full report, but had been told that the van that Rafael Attias had been driving was mechanically sound, as were the brakes, and that the crash had been caused by the vehicle’s sudden acceleration.

“They did not give us the documents from experts at the Technion or experts from Japan who came to investigate the crash,” relatives of the family said.

“From our perspective, this announcement cannot be the final word, because it doesn’t answer the question of what caused the car to accelerate, or what caused a crash that took the lives of eight people,” they said.

The Attias family was driving near Tiberias when their car began to accelerate. Hitting the brakes did not help. Rafael and Yehudit Attias called police, and were on the phone for several minutes begging for help.

Before help could arrive, the speeding van went over a cliff. The couple and six of their children were killed; only seven-year-old Rachel Attias survived the horrific crash.

The car had passed an inspection just three months earlier.

Rafael Attias was a cautious, responsible driver, his family said. “He did everything that could be expected from a person who has a crisis on the highway in the middle of the night… Our brother and his family paid the ultimate price for something that so far the State Prosecution and various investigators, including the Technion experts, don’t know what it is,” they said.

“It’s important to note that after the crash, it became clear that this was not the only case in which a van of this type suddenly accelerated in this sort of situation. Fortunately for the other drivers, in their cases, the circumstances were more merciful,” they added.

The family concluded, “We will not give up, and we will go to every relevant source, until we get an answer to the question of what caused this horrific disaster.”