Two Killed, 7 Hurt in Traffic Accidents Across Country

Pedestrian seriously hurt while crossing street in Haifa; overload of passnegers in vehicle may have caused car crash.

Two people were killed and four injured early Friday in three separate car accidents on the old Haifa-Tel Aviv road, in the Jezreel Valley and in Haifa.

A 24-year-old woman was killed and six other women were injured, two critically, when their car strayed from its lane near Kibbutz Maagan Michael, between Tel Aviv and Haifa, and hit a gas tanker driving north. The tanker driver was unharmed.

The women, all residents of Jisr al-Zarka, were on their way to work in Haifa.

Eli Vaknin, head of the police traffic accidents unit in the coastal region, noted that only four people are legally allowed to travel in a regular-size car and that police would investigate whether the overload contributed to the fatal outcome of the crash.

At the Maxim junction at the southern entrance to Haifa, an 80-year-old pedestrian was seriously injured after being hit by a car. She was taken to Rambam Medical Center in Haifa for treatment.

The driver told police that the traffic light was green when his vehicle hit the woman and said she crossed the street when the light was red. Police are looking for witnesses at the site of the accident for further evidence.

Earlier, 23-year-old Khatab Bashar from Nazareth was killed and two others seriously injured when their car crashed into a tree on Route 75 near Nahalal.

Initial investigations reveal that the car was on the wrong side of the road, in an attempt to pass another vehicle, when the accident took place. The casualties were taken to Rambam Medical Center for treatment.