Tragedy struck a family from the North on Thursday, when their car hit a bus head on, killing the mother, two of her children and her niece.

The victims were later named as Rajid Salah, 24, her children Ibrahim, 4, and Giselle, 2, and their cousin, 14-year-old Moatez Sawalha, all from Kafr Manda in the Galilee.

The accident happened on Highway 784 between Nazareth and Hanaton.

The bus driver was only lightly hurt and was treated at the scene. He reported to Fire and Rescue Services that a car in the oncoming lane veered in front suddenly and he was unable to avoid it.

Salah was critically injured at the scene and rushed to Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center, but died in the ambulance en route. Her two daughters were pronounced dead at the scene, while the cousin succumbed to her wounds at the hospital. Dozens of well-wishers and bereaved family members visited the family home in Kafr Manda and crowded the trauma ward of Rambam on Thursday hoping in vain for good news.

The force of the collision left the family car a mangled shell, sending rescue teams scrambling to the scene, with severe gridlock reported in the area following the wreck.

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