Prosecutors Weighing Charges Against Bus Driver Involved in Fatal Crash

Ghanem Bahjat likely to be charged either with manslaughter or causing death by negligence over role in accident in which 5 people were killed on Thursday.

The driver of the Egged bus that collided with a truck on Thursday, leaving five people dead and dozens hurt, is likely to be charged with manslaughter or causing death by negligence.

An Acre court on Friday extended the detention of Ghanem Bahjat, 25, by an additional two days as prosecutors decide which charges to bring against him.

On Thursday, Bahjat apparently swerved and crashed into a truck in the adjacent lane of Route 85 between Acre and Carmiel.

The victims of the crash were identified as IAF officer Aviv El-Dan, 25; Prison Service officer Saleh Abdullah, 42; Zohar Zehavi, 56; Sgt. Inna Svardelov, 21, and Asher Nidam, 62.

An initial investigation into the incident revealed that the bus, the No. 361 coming from Acre, swerved into the next lane hitting a semi-trailer truck. The bus' entire right side was crushed and tipped over on its side.

Bus accident
Yaron Kaminski

Bahjat, a resident of Sujur, has had his license revoked in the past due to a grave traffic violation.

Bahjat only received a license to drive a public vehicle this year. He was lightly hurt in the crash.

Bahjat's lawyer said in court on Friday that his client is in shock and does not remember anything about the accident.

51 others were hurt in the crash.

Several emergency medical teams were summoned to the scene of the accident as well as firefighters and other rescue services.

A MDA helicopter was employed to evacuate two individuals who were critically hurt.