(photo credit: Courtesy ZAKA)
A tragic crash in southern Israel left two young mothers dead and several children badly wounded in one of the bloodiest days on Israel's roads in recent memory.
Altogether seven Israelis died in traffic accidents over the past 24 hours, as Israeli families took to the highways on Passover vacation.
In the crash on highway 40 in the south, two cars carrying Israeli families collided at high speed, killing a mother in each car and leaving a total of five kids seriously and moderately wounded.
In the accident on Highway 40, the woman was driving near the Negev junction towards the Mashevei Sadeh junction, when she hit the other woman's car. Both vehicles overturned, and the passengers were trapped in both cars until rescue personnel could arrive to free them, and evacuate them by helicopter to Soroka Hospital in Beersheba.
Zaki Heller, Spokesman for Magen David Adom rescue services, said in a press release on Wednesday that "Pessach 2013 has been an especially deadly holiday", and said that the organization had gone on a higher state of readiness than usual over the holiday to deal with the dangerous situation on the country's roads.
Also on Highway 40, a woman was killed when she hit a truck while turning left at an intersection. Two other people were lightly injured in the accident, and police are probing whether or not one of the drivers ran a red light.
A 13-year-old boy was evacuated to Tel Hashomer by helicopter after seriously wounded in the head when an ATV he was driving overturned on a sand dune in Yavneh. The boy was reportedly filming a video for his Bar Mitzvah when the accident occurred.
In Rishon Letzion, a pedestrian was hit and killed by a man driving a tractor, and in the north, a cab driver near Nazareth was killed when he ran into a truck and then struck an electric pole. A female passenger traveling with him was moderately hurt in the accident.
Elsewhere in the south, an 80-year-old woman who was hit by a car while walking on Derech Hatayasim in Ofakim on Tuesday, died of her wounds on Wednesday afternoon.
Also in the north, a 17-year-old boy from Usifiya died of his wounds he suffered during a traffic accident in Dalyat Al-Carmel on Tuesday.
In Tel Aviv, two buses hit each other head on at the corner of Namir and Einstein streets, leaving 17 people lightly injured. All of the injured passengers were taken for treatment at Ichilov Hospital at the Sourasky Medical Center in Tel Aviv for treatment.