Soldier without license takes a joy ride and flips Humvee, killing passenger.
By ARIEH O'SULLIVANGolani soldier Ariel Ben Sha'anan, who was killed in a jeep accident Saturday, was buried on Sunday afternoon in the Tiberias military cemetery.
A veteran Golani soldier took a Humvee on a joy ride early Saturday, barreling past soldiers attempting to halt him and speeding toward a West Bank Palestinian village when he flipped the vehicle killing Ben Sha'anan, 19, of Tiberias, who was sleeping in the back seat.
Another soldier and the driver were also lightly injured.
The incident occurred near the settlement of Shani in the Hebron hills near the village of Yatir about 4 a.m. An initial investigation by three top commanders found that the Humvee was on a routine patrol of the area when it pulled into the Golani base about two kilometers from Shani.
There, the commander of the patrol and the driver apparently got out to check something, leaving two soldiers in the back seat.
At that moment, a veteran Golani soldier who did not have a drivers' license jumped into the Humvee and sped off toward Shani. After 500 meters he did a U-turn and sped back toward the base. Soldiers attempted to force the driver to halt, but he skirted them and drove on in the direction of Yatir. After about 1.5 kilometers he apparently lost control of the vehicle and it flipped.
One of the soldiers in the back seat apparently died on the spot and the other was initially listed as seriously injured. They were evacuated to Soroka hospital in Beersheba where the injured solider was later said to have only suffered light injuries. The driver was also treated for light injuries.
The initial investigation was carried out by Commander of IDF forces in Judea and Samaria Brig.-Gen. Yair Golan together with Yehuda Brigade commander Col. Motti Baruch and Col. Tamir Yadai, who only last week took over the feisty but often rebellious Golani Brigade.
Military sources said it was not yet determined what prompted the Golani soldier to hijack the vehicle.
OC Northern Command Maj.-Gen. Udi Adam, to which the Golani Brigade belongs, has ordered an investigation into Saturday's fatal accident. This will be carried out by Col. Yossi Sakal, chief of staff of the 366th division.
At least three soldiers have been killed and four injured in Humvee flip-overs in the past two years. But this is the first fatal accident due to mischievous behavior by a soldier.