A man was killed and a police officer seriously injured yesterday in a head-on car crash in the lower Galilee, police said. The accident - between a private vehicle and a police car - took place on Route 65, near the Nahal Zalmon junction.

According to police, the driver of the private vehicle, 49, tried to overtake a truck, veered into the opposite lane and collided head-on with a police car driven by Superintendent Jack Dan, 50, deputy commander of the Tiberias police department.

The driver of the private car died at the scene, while Dan is said to have sustained serious injuries and was taken by ambulance to the Rebecca Sieff Hospital in Safed.

Dr. Alexander Lerner, head of orthopedics at the hospital, told Haaretz that among other injuries, the police officer sustained multiple bone fractures - including of the ribs, pelvis, breastbone, clavicle and feet. He was later moved to the intensive care unit. Doctors said his condition was serious but stable.

Before taking up his current post at the Tiberias police station, Dan commanded the traffic department of the Amakim police district, concentrating on curbing road accidents.

Route 65, where yesterday's crash took place, was particularly accident prone. In an interview with Haaretz four years ago, Dan described the road as "unforgiving."