Scene of the accident in Jerusalem
Scene of the accident in Jerusalem Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

The bus driver who reportedly lost control of his bus and swerved onto a Jerusalem sidewalk, ramming into pedestrians and killing three people, has been released to house arrest.

The driver was interrogated on suspicion of negligent manslaughter. In the interrogation, he claimed that he tried to fix the problem with the luggage compartment door, and apparently accidentally touched the electric emergency system, which caused the brakes to release and the bus to lose control.

Following the interrogation, he was released to house arrest for five days.

Jerusalem District traffic investigators are continuing their investigation of the event.

Thus far, it is believed that seconds before the bus rammed into a bus stop outside the Rav Shefa mall, the bus driver exited the vehicle in order to close the luggage compartment door, but forgot to active the parking brakes (hand brakes). As a result, the bus lost control and began moving towards the victims.

The victims were identified late on Thursday night as Shoshana Glustein, 40, and her two daughters Chaya Sara, 7, and Chana, 2. Shoshana was in an advanced stage of pregnancy when she and her daughters were rammed down as they stood outside the Rav Shefa mall on Jerusalem's Shamgar Street.

The Glusteins, residents of the southern city of Ofakim, were among five Ofakim residents to be killed on Israel's roads on Thursday: A second traffic accident took place that same night near the Yad Mordechai Junction. Two bus drivers, Yoav Hadri and Hanoch Talker, noticed the victims on the side of the road, and decided to offer help. They exited their buses and crossed the road, but were rammed down by passing vehicles whose drivers did not notice them.

In addition to the Glusteins, a 21-year-old woman was injured in the crash. On Friday morning, the Shaare Zedek Medical Center reported that the victim's condition was very serious. Overnight, she underwent multiple operations.

Three others, two children and a woman of about 40, were moderately injured in the accident and evacuated to hospitals, and there were multiple individuals who suffered light injuries or shock.