Text size

Two Safed residents, a man and a woman in their 20s, were killed in a car crash last night near the city, and two people from the Upper Galilee were seriously injured, along with two others who were lightly injured.

The fatal accident occurred at the Ein Zeitim junction when their car collided into another vehicle. The impact of the head-on collision tore the car in two after it crashed into nearby trees. The part of the car in which the two were sitting caught fire, and they burned to death.

When emergency services arrived at the scene the bodies were already thoroughly burned and paramedics could not administer treatment. The leader of the rescue team that arrived on the scene, Asher Ben Shimon from the Safed firefighter station, said the sight reminded him of suicide bus bombings.

The burning car stopped 200 meters away from where the rescuers found the other car involved in the accident, according to Ben Shimon. "When we saw the people in the burning car were dead, we rushed to the other car and started extracting the people trapped in it," he recounted. "We worked very hard to do that."

The people in the car were Aharon Ma'atuk, former head of Merom Galil Regional Council, and members of his family from Moshav Dalton in the Upper Galilee. They were taken to Ziv Hospital in Safed.

Police closed off Road 886 to traffic in both directions for a few hours. A second firefighter unit arrived 20 minutes after Ben Shimon's from Hatzor Haglilit. Police are currently investigating what caused the accident.

In May a 63-year-old woman from Beit Shemesh was killed when a car hit her as she was crossing the road near Ein Zeitim junction on her way to the Lag Ba'omer celebration at Shimon Bar Yochai's tomb on Mount Meiron.