Funerals for dead in minibus collision

By ABE SELIG,
August 6, 2010 18:13

Ashkelon court extends remand of driver likely responsible for crash.

2 minute read.



Train crash in Kiryat Gat

train accident 311. (photo credit: courtesy)

Ashkelon Magistrate's Court Friday extended the remand of the minibus driver who allegedly ploughed through a train barrier into an oncoming locomotive near Kiryat Gat on Thursday.

The driver, Yeshur Yeshurun, will spend five days under arrest after he is released from treatment at Soroka Hospital in Beersheba. He was a neighbor of the Bernstein family that was on his minibus when it crashed into the train.

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Authorities revealed that Yeshurun had 11 traffic violations prior to the accident.

Thousands of mourners thronged the streets of the Jerusalem's Mea Shearim neighborhood on Friday morning, as the funeral procession for the victims of Thursday's fatal collision made its way towards the capital's Har Hamenuchot cemetery.

Jerusalem Police announced that they had closed all roads leading to Mea Shearim’s Shabbat Square throughout the morning to allow for the funeral procession to proceed.

Seven members of the Bernstein-Gotstein family from Beitar Illit were killed on Thursday night when the minibus they were riding in was hit by a northbound train on Route 353, near the southern city of Kiryat Gat.

Aryeh Bernstein, 43, and his wife Rivkah, 41, together with four of their children – their 21 year-old daughter, Malki Gotstein, who was pregnant, along with Mordechai, 9, Chaya 14, and Yochanan 16, – were killed upon impact, when the train slammed into the vehicle.

Malki Gotstein's one-and-a-half-year-old son, Mordechai, was also killed in the collision.

Gotstein's husband, Dudi Gotstein, was the only family member to survive the crash, and is in moderate condition. Gotstein is in intensive care in the Barzilai hopsital in Ashkelon, with broken bones as well as tears in his liver and spleen. He reportedly has not been notified of his wife and son's deaths, and did not attend Friday's funeral.

ZAKA finds one of their own among the dead

ZAKA spokesman Moti Bukjin said that the team that came to identify the bodies were horrified to discover that they knew the victims: Aryeh Bernstein, the head of the family, who died along with his wife, his pregnant daughter and her husband, and his three other children, was himself a Zaka volunteer.

The family had been on their way to Moshav Komemiyut, where they had planned on spending Shabbat, when the collision occurred.

No serious injuries were reported on the train itself, although a number of passengers were treated for shock.

As a result of the crash, train traffic between Tel Aviv and Beersheba was halted. Israel Railways hired buses to replace train services.

Ron Friedman and Jpost.com staff contributed to this report.


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