Israel Police Arrest Driver in Car Accident That Killed Four Released Prisoners

Driver, a Jerusalem resident, is suspected of causing death by negligence due to careless driving and drifting out of his lane

The scene of the accident along Route 443, May 9, 2019.
David Bachar

The police have arrested the driver of a minibus carrying released prisoners that overturned Thursday near Modi'in, killing four people and injuring nine.

All 13 passengers, who were taking part in a rehabilitation program, were on their way back from an Independence Day trip.

The driver, a Jerusalem resident, is suspected of causing death by negligence after drifting out of his lane. The police are expected to ask a court to extend his detention by another six days.

According to emergency services, on Thursday the minibus hit a roadside barrier near Shilat Junction as it was heading to Jerusalem on Route 443, which links the Tel Aviv area to the West Bank. An eyewitness told Haaretz that the vehicle flipped several times before crashing dozens of meters off the road.

All four of the men killed were in their 40s. One man was moderately injured, and the rest were lightly injured.