Driver in latest Route 90 accident to be held 3 more days

Court also extends remand of motorist in earlier crash that killed entire family.

Scene of deadly accident on Route 90 (photo credit: FIRE AND RESCUE SERVICE)
Scene of deadly accident on Route 90
The Petah Tikva Magistrate’s Court has extended by three days the remand of the truck driver involved in Sunday’s deadly road accident on Route 90 near the Petzael Junction.
Six people died and five were seriously injured in that accident when a truck collided with a van that was carrying residents of east Jerusalem who were traveling to work at a factory in Beit She’an.
The truck driver has blamed the driver of the van for the accident. His lawyer said on Monday that after driving around a bend a heavy truck pulled him to the left, but he managed to correct himself and a driver in front of the van managed to pass without hitting him.
The driver claimed that the van driver made an “erroneous” decision to swerve left on the spot, hitting the front of the truck after a “sudden loss of control.”
A police investigator said the truck driver tried to take the memory card out of his dashboard camera.
The truck driver, a 47-year-old Haifa resident, has a record of 20 previous traffic violations. He has had a license for 23 years and also has a license to drive a taxi.
Also on Monday, the Beersheba District Court extended by one week the remand of Loren Ankri, the driver involved in an accident on the same road in a head-on collision near Ein Bokek, which killed an entire family of eight from Psagot including six children.
Ankri, 54, from Givon Hahadasha, has said he was blinded by the sun while passing.
Last week it was reported that investigators suspected he had been driving under the influence of drugs, after they found a substance suspected to be marijuana in his car.
The police are still waiting for the results of the laboratory test regarding the material. The suspect has said he uses marijuana for medicinal purposes, Channel 2 reported last week, but police have said he does not have a permit.
Police arrested the driver on manslaughter charges last Tuesday after he received treatment at Beersheba’s Soroka-University Medical Center.
He was quoted as saying: “I killed them; I will never drive again.” His wife and daughter, who were in the car with him at the time of the accident, were moderately injured and were treated at Soroka.
The eight members of the Atar family – who were killed in the accident when they were trapped inside their burning car – were laid to rest at the Shikun Vatikim Cemetery in Netanya on Wednesday.