Girl, Grandfather Killed When Car Strikes Horses on Road

A 9-year-old girl and her grandfather died after their car hit two horses crossing route 65, near Umm al-Fahm, late Thursday night.

Talal Gazmawi, 63, of Arara, was driving west toward the Mei-Ami junction when he struck the horses, and died at the scene. His granddaughter Malek Kabaha, 9, from the village of Ara, died at Rambam Medical Center on Friday. Gazmawi's wife was seriously injured.

The authorities were trying to find the horses' owners, said Chief Inspector Uzi Hadar, head of the traffic department of the Amakim police district.

This is the latest accident involving collisions with farm animals in the north this year.

In March, a 70-year-old woman from a Haifa suburb was killed when a horse jumped in front of her car. Four passengers were slightly injured.

A few days later, a mother and four of her children from the Golan town of Majdal Shams were injured after their car struck a horse. The father, Talal Amasha, who was driving, struck the animal at 9:30 P.M. as the family was heading home from the Katzrin country club.

The driver's brother-in-law said there had been five recent accidents involving horses in the area. However, when the owners were found, they would claim the horse was not theirs, he said.

Chief Inspector Eran Kaplan, head of the Galilee district traffic department, said it is common to find animals wandering on the road in the Galilee. However, Hadar said accidents involving animals are rare.

Three years ago, the Safed Traffic Court convicted a cattle farmer of reckless endangerment after his cows caused an accident on the road to Safed, near the Ein Zeitim junction, in 2002. His license was suspended for six months and he was fined NIS 3,500.

This is apparently the only case of a farmer being convicted after his livestock was involved in an accident.