A 35-year-old man was killed and his partner seriously injured when they fell down an open well 20-meters deep on Saturday morning, north of the Netanya interchange on Route 2.
The couple apparently fell into the old water well after entering an abandoned building during their hike.
At approximately 7:30 a.m., two traffic police volunteers who were patrolling the area spotted the couple's car, which was parked near the abandoned building with the motor running.
They began searching the structure, where they discovered two people trapped inside an uncovered well.
The man was critically injured and succumbed to his injuries shortly afterward. Magen David Adom teams pronounced his death at the scene.
The woman, in her 30s, was evacuated to Hillel Yaffe Medical Center in Hadera.
Neither victim was carrying any identification, but a restaurant receipt found with them suggested they had been stuck in the well for several hours, a MDA medic told Israel Radio.
Israel Radio reported that the Emek Hefer Regional Council may be accused of negligence, as both the well and the abandoned building are under its jurisdiction.
While it denies that the structure is within its jurisdiction, the Netanya Municipality built a fence around the structure on Saturday afternoon.
A spokesman for the Emek Hefer Regional Council said the site was close to several communities, and it was not yet clear who was responsible for its upkeep.
According to the radio report, the well was last used during the 1930s.
In August, a five-year-old Palestinian girl died when she fell eight meters into an open well in the village of al-Jib, 10 km. northwest of Jerusalem.
Firefighters called to the scene could not locate the girl in the dark well, and she was eventually rescued, some 30 minutes after falling, by scuba diving instructor Felix Lotan.
In July, a three-year-old girl whose family recently immigrated to Israel from the US was killed when she fell into a manhole that was filled with poisonous gases in the capital's Ramat Eshkol neighborhood.
The girl died shortly after inhaling the fumes.
A middle aged passerby who jumped in the manhole in an attempt to rescue the girl was himself seriously injured and lost consciousness.