Deadly Day on Israel's Roads as Nine Killed, Dozens Injured

Nine people died in traffic accidents across Israel from Saturday night to Sunday night, including a young couple and two soldiers.

The two soldiers, Maor Cohen and Karin Shitrit, both 20, were killed along with Ilana Beker, 72, in a crash on route 232 between Kibbutz Sa'ad and Kibbutz Be'eri. A vehicle with five passengers crashed into a vehicle carrying three, and police said initial findings at the scene suggest one of the vehicles strayed from its lane and crashed directly into a vehicle traveling in the opposite direction. Police are still investigated why the driver swerved.

Sources at the Eshkol Regional Council said they have been requesting the road be expanded for years, as the many military vehicles traveling on it cause a severe overload. "The Transportation Ministry urgently needs to allocate funds to add four more lanes to the road, to save lives," council chairman Haim Yelin said.

At about 8:30 Sunday night a pedestrian was hit by a freight train in Be'er Sheva and killed. Police are inveistigating reports that the man may have thrown himself into the train's path.

In the afternoon, a 33-year-old was killed as he was crossing the road near the Dolphin Junction in Haifa. Police said he was not using a marked road crossing when he was run over by a car traveling from the Krayot. He died at Rambam Medical Center in the city shortly afterwards.

A man was also killed and 14 others were injured in an accident between two cars and a minibus on route 66, near the Megiddo Junction. The man killed was Hanan Ohana, 24, from Afula.

Earlier in the day, a 57-year-old truck driver from Moshav Yarhiv, Yisrael Tzabari, was crushed to death between two trucks in Petah Tikva. According to eyewitnesses, Tzabari got off the truck to unload goods, leaving the engine on. When he saw the truck begin to move, he jumped on the ledge to the driver's cabin and attempted to lift the hand break through the window, but failed to notice another truck parked nearby. He was crushed between the two trucks, suffering critical injuries and dying at Beilinson Hospital a short time later.

On Saturday night, Alex Buban, 24, and his fiance Sally Diab, 18, were killed on the eastern outskirts of Haifa, as Buban lost control of the car and crashed into a support pillar of the Paz bridge. Relatives of the couple told Haaretz they got engaged a month ago, on Diab's birthday.