Car accident - Eliyahu Hershkowitz
A policemen at the scene of one of this weekend’s fatal traffic accidents. Photo by Eliyahu Hershkowitz
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Eight people died and at least 16 were injured in weekend traffic accidents. Police said a 56-year-old man riding a bicycle on a major road near Afula was killed early yesterday morning after a van hit him from behind. Three people died in two separate accidents on Friday, one near Lake Kinneret and the second in the Negev. And on Thursday, four people were killed when their car crashed into a tour bus near the Dead Sea.

Yesterday's accident took place at around 7 A.M., when a van hit a bicyclist from Migdal Ha'emek on Route 56, also known as the "ruler road," near the Megiddo Junction. Paramedics from Magen David Adom pronounced him dead at the scene. The driver, who does not have a record of moving violations, was detained for questioning.

In September 2005 national cycling champion Golan Shalmon died after being hit by a bus at the same spot, and in August another bicyclist was hit and killed just meters away. All three accidents took place early on a Saturday morning.

On Friday morning, two people were killed and eight others were injured when a van hit a tractor on Route 87, near the northern shore of Lake Kinneret. Police said that at around 5 A.M. a van carrying people to work in the Golan Heights hit a tractor traveling slowly along the shoulder. The victims, who were in the van, were named as Yusef Falah, 67, of Samia, and Fatma Sawad, 47, of Rama.

Firefighters from Katzrin and Tiberias extricated the passengers from the van. A Magen David Adom ambulance crew treated eight people for their injuries. One man was evacuated by helicopter to Haifa's Rambam Medical Center with serious injuries. The others were admitted to Rebecca Sieff Hospital in Safed, and Poriya Hospital in Tiberias.

In the second accident on Friday, one man was killed and eight people were injured, two of them seriously, in an accident involving one van and two cars near the Nevatim Air Force base, in the south.

On Thursday, four people died when the car they were in crashed head-on into a tourist bus on the Dead Sea road. The driver and three passengers, all Palestinians from the West Bank, were pronounced dead at the scene.