Nine killed in car accidents since Friday

Ro'i Leifer, 30, and his two-month-old son Tomiya, were returning home to Moshav Bar Giora when they were killed in a multi-vehicle collision.

car race crash 298 (photo credit: Channel 2)
car race crash 298
(photo credit: Channel 2)
A man and his infant son were killed Sunday morning in a multi-vehicle collision near the Husan checkpoint, just outside of Betar Illit. It was the second accident in the vicinity of Betar Illit in less than two days. Hours later, an elderly man died after being hit by a vehicle, bringing the total number of people killed in collisions since the weekend to nine. Ro'i Leifer, 30, and his two-month-old son Tomiya, were returning to the mobile home that the man and his wife had recently rented in nearby Moshav Bar Giora, after doing early morning errands in Betar Illit. According to an initial investigation, a van hit their car from behind, sending it spinning into an oncoming bus. Both father and son were pronounced dead at the scene. Police notified Leifer's wife, who was waiting for her family to return home. Shortly afterwards, 79-year-old Dovid Pla'i was hit by a commercial vehicle while attempting to cross Sderot Yerushalayim in the Negev town of Netivot. Pla'i, a Netivot resident, died of his injuries after being taken to Soroka Medical Center. Earlier on Sunday morning, a 75-year-old Beersheba resident was hit by a bus after trying to cross a street near the city's market, at a point not marked for pedestrian traffic. The man was hospitalized at Soroka Medical Center in serious condition. Before sunrise on Sunday, Ro'i Batya, 28, of Moshav Azriel; his cousin Eliran Batya, 28, of Tel Mond; and Keren Mourwati, 26, also of Tel Mond were killed, and two seriously injured, in a head-on collision on Highway 553 at the Bnei Dror Junction. According to rescue teams, the two vehicles overturned in the crash and caught fire. The two injured people were trapped inside one of the cars, and rescue workers had to saw through the wrecked vehicle before the victims could be evacuated for treatment at the Beilinson and Meir hospitals. Batya and Mourwati were engaged and had just set an August date for their wedding. Over the weekend, a five-year-old was run over and killed in Sakhnin while crossing the street. Amir Levy, a 19-year-old paratrooper, was killed in Zichron Ya'acov when he lost control of his car, and on Thursday night, Lior Shriki, an 18-year-old Jerusalem resident, was killed while participating in an illegal car race. A few hundred meters away from the scene of Sunday's deadly collision, a horse and rider were struck by a vehicle late Friday night. The driver was hospitalized in serious condition and his passenger in good condition. The horse's rider was moderately injured. All three human victims were taken to Jerusalem's Hadassah University Hospital in Ein Kerem. The horse was killed in the crash. A total of 159 Israelis have been killed in car accidents since the beginning of 2006.