Crash on Ben Yehuda Street.
(photo credit: MDA)
Three people were killed and several more wounded when a motorist slammed into a crowded restaurant on Ben Yehuda Street in central Tel Aviv in a suspected traffic accident.
Reports of the incident sparked fears of a “ramming attack”, but police were quick to report that it was most likely an accident and not terrorism.
Magen David Adom paramedics said that the driver was middle-aged and fell unconscious while at the wheel, shortly before he lost control of the vehicle and drove onto the sidewalk of the “Furama” restaurant at the corner of Ben Yehuda and Idelson streets.
MDA paramedic Anwar Sharqawi was quoted as saying that “when we arrived at the scene there was panic and inured people lying on the sidewalk between the tables and chairs,” and began evacuating people from the scene to Ichilov and Wolfson Hospitals. Three of the wounded were in critical condition, one was moderately hurt, and several more lightly wounded, MDA said.
A little over an hour after the accident, the National Traffic Police stated that the driver was among those killed. They added that it appears that the driver, a 41-year-old Ranana resident, appeared to have had a cardiac incident of some sort that led to the accident. The investigation is still ongoing they added.
Employees of the restaurant told reporters that they heard what sounded like a loud explosion and came outside to see the vehicle parked outside after crashing through metal barriers and coming to a halt where the sidewalk tables are placed.
In July 2014, four people were injured when an elderly man lost control of his car and slammed into Café Tachtit on Lincoln Street in central Tel Aviv. One of the wounded was moderately hurt while the three suffered light injuries.