Hebrew Israelites Mourn Lossof Cherished Teacher in Car Crash

Yishai Hai was driving, his wife was in the passenger's seat and the children were in the backseat, when their car was hit by a bus.

Deep grief seized the Hebrew Israelite community in Dimona when word spread that Yovela Mor, a cherished teacher in the community's high school and one of the first Hebrew Israelites to be born in Israel, died in a traffic accident Sunday morning.

Early Sunday morning Mor, 35, her husband, Yishai Hai, and their three children were returning from a weekend visit in Arad with Yishai Hai's mother. Yishai Hai was driving, his wife was in the passenger's seat and the children were in the backseat. Their car was hit by a bus on Route 31 at the Tel Arad junction, as they attempted to turn onto Route 80.

"The bus came from Be'er Sheva and collided head-on with a car coming from Arad," Police Superintendent Yossi Farjoun, chief of traffic police in the Negev District, said. He attributed the accident to heavy fog and careless driving.

The couple's son Yehuda, 3, was admitted to Hadassah University Hospital in Jerusalem in critical condition. His sister Na'ima, 4, and brother Liel, 6, were admitted to Soroka Medical Center in Be'er Sheva in moderate condition. Their father's injuries were mild.

Yovela Mor returned to teach at the Ahva high school after first earning an undergraduate degree in fashion design at Tel Aviv University, according to Adir Ben-Yisrael, who had been her teacher at Ahva.

In the past year 11 people died in traffic accidents along Route 31; another 16 people sustained serious injuries, and 53 people were slightly injured. The Transportation Ministry recently approved a plan to improve and widen the road.

Musa Alburan, whose son was driving the bus that hit the Mors' car, Sunday extended condolences to the family. "My son is a student at Ben-Gurion University. He was traumatized by the accident, he left home at 6 A.M., he told me he saw a car coming from the direction of Arad that wanted to turn left and he hit it. His bus was empty. He said it was because of the fog, not the condition of the road."

"Yovela was among the first children in the community to be born in Israel," said Tibal, a friend of the family, on Sunday. "It is a great loss, I ask all those who feel as we do to support us. The father was left alone with three children and they need to be taken care of. He is in great pain, he says nothing and is very distraught."