5 victims of Arava crash laid to rest

February 24, 2010 00:50
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Funerals were held across Israel Tuesday for five members of the same family who were killed when their car collided head-on with a truck on Highway 90 near the Arava Junction.

The five victims – Ruti Dahan (57), her daughter Sarit (19), her son Lior (30), his wife Tali (33) and their five-month-old daughter Shilat – were trapped inside the car and burned to death at the scene.

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Paramedics who arrived at the scene said Tuesday that the condition of the bodies made precise identification impossible, and the exact identities of the victims could only be determined after results from DNA testing came back Tuesday.

A funeral was held for Sarit in the military section of the Holon cemetery, followed by funerals in Ofakim for husband and wife Lior and Tali and their baby daughter Shilat. Finally, aunt Ruti was buried in Haifa.

The couple, their baby, as well as the sister and mother of the husband, were on their way north from Eilat to a wedding near Haifa. Their relatives, who found out about the tragic accident shortly before the wedding on Monday evening, made the difficult decision not to tell the bride and groom about the incident and to hold the ceremony as planned.

On Tuesday the Beersheba Magistrate’s court extended by two days the remand of the truck driver, Muhammad al-Jabur, a Rahat resident in his 20s. Jabur told police Tuesday that he swerved into the opposite lane because the overhead glove compartment suddenly popped open and hit him on the head, distracting him from the road.

A police spokesman told The Jerusalem Post Tuesday that Jabur doesn’t have an extensive history of traffic violations and that police believe that he wasn’t driving at a high speed when the accident occurred, just at a speed that was too high for the layout of the road.

The spokesman said Jabur could face charges of negligent manslaughter if it is found that reckless driving caused the crash.

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