Five people died in traffic accidents on Wednesday – two of them in collisions that took place just an hour apart on the same highway in the south.

One woman was killed and seven others, including five children, were injured when two vehicles collided on Highway 40 near the Negev junction. About an hour later, another woman was killed when a truck and a private car collided on the same highway, in the Lachish region near Moshav Noam.

Initial reports indicate that some of the wounded were trapped in the vehicle and could only be evacuated to receive medical care following a complex rescue operation. Three of the injured are in critical condition, three in moderate condition and one was lightly injured.

According to preliminary police reports, the accident at the Negev junction occurred when a Hyundai heading north veered off course and hit a van around seven kilometers from the Negev junction. The Hyundai driver, a woman in her 30s, was killed and her two children were critically injured. The mother in the van was also critically injured, while the father and their three children sustained light to moderate injuries. Both vehicles overturned, trapping the passengers who had to be evacuated in a complex rescue operation. The wounded were taken to Soroka Medical Center in Be’er Sheva.

A 40-year old man was killed and a woman passenger moderately injured in an accident between a private vehicle and a truck on the road between Nazareth and Yafia.

Meanwhile, a 65-year old man was killed earlier Wednesday morning when his vehicle collided with a tractor on Highway 4 near the Rishon Letzion junction.

A 17-year old youth from Daliat al-Carmel, who was injured in a car accident late Tuesday night when his vehicle overturned, died of his wounds.

An 80-year old woman who was hit by a car while crossing the street in Ofakim on Tuesday died of her wounds Wednesday.