6-year-old dies in car crash mother claims was terror attack

Matan Zinman was pronounced dead after his family's car collided into a Palestinian woman's car.

 Police cruisers and an ambulance at the scene. (photo credit: POLICE SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)
Police cruisers and an ambulance at the scene.
(photo credit: POLICE SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)

A serious car crash in the West Bank city of Ariel left six-year-old Matan Zinman dead and the rest of his family injured on Wednesday night in what Matan's mother claimed was a terror attack, Israeli media reported.

"It wasn't an accident," said Rivka Zinman. "I was driving. The road was clear also in the other lane, the car saw me and sped up, and I tried to avoid it and it just slammed into me."

The accident occurred on Highway 60 near the Ma'aleh Levonah junction. Police say a vehicle driven by a Palestinian woman swerved into another lane for unknown reasons and eventually collided with the car belonging to Matan Zinman's family. Police said they suspect the Palestinian woman was using her mobile phone at the time of the accident.

The five family members were evacuated for medical attention at the Hadassah hospitals in Mount Scopus and Ein Kerem. Matan was in critical condition and pronounced dead at the hospital, his sister is in serious condition, his mother and a brother are moderately injured and his baby brother was only lightly injured. The Palestinian woman whose actions caused the accident was moderately injured and was transferred to a hospital under the Palestinian Authority for medical attention. 

"A terrible event"

Binyamina Regional Council head Israel Gantz called the accident a "terrible event." 

Crime scene tape. (credit: BRANDON ANDERSON/ FLICKR/ CREATIVE COMMONS)Crime scene tape. (credit: BRANDON ANDERSON/ FLICKR/ CREATIVE COMMONS)

"A heavy burden has fallen on us," Gantz said in a statement. "Little Matan was snatched away from us. We surround the family and the settlement of Shvot Rachel at this difficult time."

"My heart is with the Zinman family this morning," tweeted Prime Minister Yair Lapid. "Matan Zinman, who was only six and was supposed to start first grade, was killed yesterday in a terrible car crash.

"I send my condolences from the bottom of my heart and wishes of mental and physical recovery to his family and friends."

"This is a very serious accident," paramedics at the scene told Walla. "We saw two crushed vehicles, five family members were traveling in one of the vehicles; a 7-year-old boy suffered a multi-system injury – he was unconscious without breathing and without a pulse."

This is a developing story.