Four dead, dozens hurt in Route 6 road accident

Some 30 people injured in road accident between a Metropoline bus and a truck; IDF release names of 2 soldiers amongst dead.

Scene of accident on Route 6 370 (photo credit: Moshe Mizrahi / News 24)
Scene of accident on Route 6 370
(photo credit: Moshe Mizrahi / News 24)
Four people died and more than a dozen were injured when a bus side-swiped a heavy truck parked on the side of the Highway 6 on Sunday.
Traffic police were trying to assess whether the accident was caused by the bus driver, who might have been following a car too closely, or by the truck driver, whose vehicle, carrying a load of trash, was protruding onto the motorway.
By press time on Sunday night, two of the dead were named as soldiers Hai Ben Naim, 19, from Rishon Lezion, and Kfir Dahari, 22, from Yavneh.
The No. 377 Metropoline bus was traveling southbound about 2 kilometers south of the Sorek interchange, in the Nahal Sorek region south of Rehovot and east of Ashdod, when it hit the truck, the National Traffic Police said. The truck overturned from the force of the impact, sending trash across the highway and blocking traffic, and making it difficult for rescue personnel to arrive.
United Hatzalah medics provided primary care to two of the more seriously injured bus passengers before they were evacuated by helicopter to Sourasky Medical Center in Tel Aviv.
Metropolin, which offered its condolences to the families of the victims, said the bus driver, Yaakov Weitzman, had hired his own lawyer.
Yaakov Shklar, Weitzman’s attorney, said his client was driving behind a truck and could not see the side of the road. At one point the truck swerved to the left. Weitzman tried to swerve, too, but could not do so in time and sideswiped the truck parked at the side of the road.
Shklar said police questioned the bus driver, who was still hospitalized, suffering from light injuries and trauma. He added that the accident was unavoidable and was not caused by any fault of his client.
The driver of the truck, Haim Tzarfati, said he had pulled over to fix a problem with his air conditioner when the accident occurred. He said he had pulled over far enough to where his vehicle was scratching the guard rail, and that he set up a hazard sign on the roadway and put on his warning lights.
He blamed Weitzman, saying the crash happened because of “a lack of responsibility” and was “the mistake of an idiot who caused a tragedy and pain for the families.”