4 killed in horrific car accident near Modi'in

Palestinian workers were trapped in wrecked car after colliding head-on with a bus on Route 443.

crash 224.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
crash 224.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Four illegal Palestinian workers died and three others were injured when their car hit a bus near Mitzpe Modi'in on Route 443 on Sunday just before noon. The Palestinians lost control of the vehicle while changing lanes, National Police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld said. Their black Mitsubishi swerved into the opposite lane and hit an oncoming bus. Neither driver was able to move out of the way. The car was demolished; four of its passengers were killed and another three were injured, one seriously and two critically. No one on the bus was hurt. Because the dead men were Jenin residents, the police notified the Palestinian Authority, to whom it will give the bodies after they are examined by Israeli authorities. The police said they didn't know how the workers entered Israel. "Where they crossed [and] whether they came in today, we're looking into that," said Rosenfeld. Shlomo Chemouni, a doctor who lives in the area and is often called to help when an accident takes place, said he was not surprised that illegal Palestinian workers were able to get into the country near Route 443. "People cross the fence without problems," he said. "You can just wait and pass through, especially on Sundays. Hundreds of people go, day and night." Magen David Adom spokesman Yeroham Mandola said the details of the accident were common. "A lot of workers travel on Route 443," he said. "There was a similar incident a few years ago, when two workers' transits were involved in an accident, and the results were [the same]." Rosenfeld said the accident was most likely caused by human error rather than any defect in the road, signage or management of traffic patterns. "There weren't any major problems on the road, but everything is being examined," he said. "This is something that took place [as a result of] a human error and the results were critical." Chemouni said that when he arrived at the scene an inordinate number of local officials from several government agencies were present, in part because the victims of the crash were illegal workers. "There were a lot of police, border police and firemen standing around a black car in bad condition with bodies inside," he said."The paramedics tried to see if there was anything we could do inside the car, but [the passengers] were already dead." Chemouni said even though the passengers of the bus had remained calm, the crowd of policeman and border agents - in addition to the sight of the crash itself - made the scene more tense than those of other crashes. The injured were taken to Sheba Hospital at Tel Hashomer. Chemouni said the nationality of the injured had not affected the way he handled the crash. "I deal with people, not with Palestinians or Jews," he said.