'Day without accidents' crashes and burns

One dead before noon in head-on collision, 147 injured in road mishaps.

car crash police 298.88 (photo credit: Channel 10)
car crash police 298.88
(photo credit: Channel 10)
One man was killed and almost 150 people were injured on Tuesday in road accidents, notwithstanding a campaign that had declared a "Day Without Car Crashes." The campaign promoted "efforts by individuals" to ensure that the day would pass without a single casualty on Israel's roadways. The date - 24/7 - was selected for its connotation of "twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week." But even for a single day, Israelis proved incapable of stopping the carnage. A Givat Harsina resident was killed and five people were injured in a head-on collision on Route 60, between Jerusalem and Hebron. An initial police investigation indicated that one of the two vehicles had been traveling southbound when it swerved out of its lane, crossed an unbroken dividing line that signified a no-passing zone, and slammed head-on into an oncoming vehicle. The crash sent both cars careening off the highway and down a steep incline. Rescue teams from Hatzolah Judea and Samaria, Hebron Fire and Rescue services and Magen David Adom worked to free the victims, some of whom were trapped in the vehicles. The five injured are all members of a Ramat Beit Shemesh family. As of Tuesday evening, one was in serious condition, a second in moderate condition and three others were in good condition. Two of the more lightly injured victims are children. Earlier Tuesday, a woman was critically injured and a second person was in moderate condition following a chain collision on the Kfar Saba city line, not far from the reputed grave of the biblical Binyamin. Police said an initial investigation led detectives to believe that one vehicle rear-ended a second, sending it swerving left into oncoming lanes. A vehicle traveling in the opposite direction failed to stop in time, and hit the car. Various road mishaps on Tuesday left a total of 147 injured, according to MDA and the police. So far this year, 26,890 people have been injured in 60,000 road accidents and evacuated by MDA staffers; 319 were in serious condition when rushed to hospital, with the rest moderately or lightly injured. A total of 140 people have been declared dead on the scene of the accidents since the beginning of January, MDA reported. The idea of a special "day" without car accidents came from Yaniv Rahimi, a 32-year-old Rishon Lezion resident who worked with the Metuna and Or Yarok road safety organizations. Rahimi reached out to drivers, begging them to "discard their apathy" and understand that Israelis should not accept crashes as a part of life, but work to prevent them. Road accidents kills more people than almost anything else (besides tobacco.) "MDA has joined the effort to try to halt the plague of road accidents and appeal to the public to be more careful," said MDA director-general Eli Bin.