Yoav Hadri and Hanoch Talker, two bus drivers who lived in Ofakim, were killed early Friday morning when a vehicle hit them near the Yad Mordechai Junction on Route 4.
The two were employed with the Egged Hasa'im bus company. They crossed the street in order to help those injured in a different accident at the scene. Magen David Adom (MDA) evacuated the three victims of the previous accident to a local hospital.
Initial investigations show that the two drivers stopped on the shoulder of the road in order to offer help to the driver of a private vehicle who was injured in the accident. Another driver, who did not notice them, rammed into them, killing both. The driver was detained for questioning by police investigators.
MDA paramedics Eliyahu Shukrun and Elissa Krant, who arrived at the scene, said, "This was a very serious and complex accident. The place was very dark, we saw two smashed vehicles, each of which had a driver who was fully conscious and walking around. We provided them with medical aid and evacuated them to the hospital, suffering bruises and in moderate condition."
"On the road, in two lanes a distance from the vehicles, lay two men, one aged about 40 and the other of about 50, who were injured from passing vehicles as they crossed the street to help with the accident between the two vehicles. They had no signs of life and we were forced to declare their deaths at the scene."
Egged Hasa'im CEO Zviki Oren said, "We are shocked, pained, and horrified by this horrific tragedy which has come upon us. Two of our drivers, returning from operating buses in central Israel, were on their way with empty buses towards Ofakim. They noticed a serious accident which had occurred on the side of the road and the drivers who were trapped in their vehicles. They decided to stop their buses on the side of the road and offer to help and save those injured in the accident. And by doing so they lost their lives."