Police continue to probe deadly Hwy 6 crash, as two more victims named

Yariv Barak, Yonatan Turgeman, Hai Ben Naim and Kfir Dahari lost their lives while over a dozen people were injured.

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)
The National Traffic Unit of the Israel Police continues to investigate the tragic bus accident on Highway 6 on Sunday that left four people dead, as two Israeli families received the news that their sons lost their lives in the crash the day before.
The two victims named on Monday are Yariv Barak, 28, from Rishon Lezion, and Yonatan Turgeman, 21, from Rehovot. On Sunday night, two of the deceased were named by the IDF as soldiers Hai Ben Naim, 19, from Rishon Lezion and Kfir Dahari, 22, from Yavne.
Ch.-Insp. Galit Ben-Baruch of the National Traffic Police said that officers are still gathering testimony from passengers on the Metropoline bus 377 that collided with the dump truck on Highway 6 near the Shorek junction, in order to determine which driver was at fault.
She added that the bus driver Yaakov Weitzman was released from the hospital on house arrest on Monday, and that he maintains that he wasn’t able to see the garbage truck because a truck driving in front of him was blocking his view.
She said that the garbage truck driver Haim Tzarfati was also released on caution, but is not under house arrest.
The road accident also left over a dozen people injured on Monday, after the bus sideswiped the garbage truck, which was parked on the side of the highway.
In response to suggestions that the narrow width of the road’s shoulders may have been a player in the accident, the Transportation Ministry stressed that “these are standard shoulders, with a width of three meters, and it is not at all certain that the shoulders were the cause of the accident.”
“The accident is being investigated by the Israel Police, and only after the procedures can we get as far as researching the truth and drawing the necessary conclusions,” the ministry added.
Meanwhile, the Israel Road Transport Board said that it has been demanding already for a decade parking bays and rest stops for heavy vehicles along Highway 6, in order to prevent trucks from having to stop on the road itself.
After the operators of Highway 6 did not answer the board’s pleas, the group turned to the High Court of Justice through a petition.
In response to the petition, government officials said in October 2003 that they intend to submit a plan for such rest stops within three months, the board added.
Sharon Udasin contributed to this report.