Police Insp.-Gen. Moshe Karadi formed an investigative team Sunday to look in to allegations of police negligence in preventing a crash that killed five people near Poriya, west of Tiberias, on Friday night.
Supt. Uzi Hadar, head of the Amakim Subdistrict traffic police, said Saturday that the accident occurred when the driver of a car swerved into the opposite lane, possibly to pass a second car. When he noticed a vehicle approaching, he apparently attempted a hard turn back into his lane, but lost control of the car, which spun, rammed into the second car and flipped over onto its roof.
All five passengers in the car - residents of Karmiel - were killed. The names of two people - the driver, Vitali Vozovy, 33, and one passenger, Pavel Studborov, 22, were only released on Sunday, because police had to notify family members who live in the former Soviet Union.
Shortly after hearing of the crash, a resident of the Golan Heights contacted the media to say that he had seen a similar vehicle being driven recklessly near one of the Kinneret beaches six hours before the crash. The man said that he had placed three separate calls to police to report the speeding, swerving car, but to no avail. Police said that they had attempted to locate the vehicle, but that it turned into a beach and disappeared.
The five crash victims were also returning from a Kinneret beach, although police were investigating other possible similarities between the vehicle observed by the citizen and the one involved in the fatal collision.
"If the facts as the concerned citizen presented are true, and the car was the same one involved in the crash, then this is clearly in contradiction to the goal of service to the public and responsibility for maintaining public security that I outlined as one of my policy guidelines for the police," Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter said Sunday.
He added that he expected to be briefed by Karadi on Thursday on the findings of the internal police investigation into the incident.