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Three women lost their lives last night in a crash involving a van and a family car in Ashkelon. The three were members of the same family - a mother, her sister and a daughter. Two others, a father and son, suffered serious injuries and were rushed to Barzilai hospital in the city.

The three fatalities were identified as Varda Bukovza, 52, her 28-year-old daughter, Elinor Bukovza, who was six months pregnant, and Varda's sister, Leah Katani, 59.

Traffic police believe that the crash was caused by one of the drivers who failed to obey a traffic signal. The accident occurred at the corner of Yitzhak Rabin and Eli Cohen streets, when the car crashed into the van. The car was flung nearly 100 meters into a ditch, and firemen were called in to extricate the bodies trapped in the car.

An eye witness, Ayala Bas, who was driving behind the car, said that the car turned left on a red light, and the van crashed into it at high speed.

"It was a terrible sight. I have never seen anything like it. The child in the van was screaming, and I was trying to get his father out and I could not. It was just a terrible sight."