Quick Wits Avert Another Deadly Accident at Rail Crossing

Truck nearly hit by train at same railroad crossing near Kiryat Gat at which seven members of a single family were killed in a collision last Thursday.

Less than a week after a train collided with a minibus, taking the lives of seven members of a single family, another accident at the same crossing in southern Israel was narrowly averted  on Tuesday.

Tuesday evening investigators from the police and Transportation Ministry scoured the scene of Thursday's collision near Kibbutz Gat that killed seven members of the Bernstein family of Beitar Illit.

Kibbutz Gat train accident
Ilan Asayag

Authorities were trying to determine the field of vision available between the road and the adjacent train tracks.

Around 6:30 P.M. a truck driver traveling west tried crossing the tracks after the traffic light there had turned red.

A rail official spotted the truck and alerted the driver in time to avoid another accident. The driver put the truck in reverse, breaking the barricade that had already come down. The truck driver was summoned for a hearing later this week, where authorities will decide whether to revoke his license for a 30-day period.

Driver in fatal crash sent home

Yashar Yeshurun, the minibus driver in last week's crash, was released from detention to house arrest in Yeruham.

On Sunday, the driver reenacted the circumstances of the collision with investigators.

Kiryat Gat Magistrate's Court Judge Eyal Baumgart wrote in his decision: "The reenactment was conducted at night and continued for a long time, and [Yeshurun] participated in it while injured. It's likely he grew tired during the reenactment.

His continued detention is not a necessary precursor to a judgment. The goals of the investigation can be met even if the suspect is released on the terms set by the court."

Police had sought to extend Yeshurun's remand by another five days.