Toddler Accidentally Run Over by Father

Traffic accidents claimed two lives yesterday: A man was burned to death in his car on Route 6, and a toddler in the south was run over by her father.

In addition, a woman was moderately injured when she was hit by a bus.

The accident on Route 6 occurred between the Baka and Iron interchanges, when a car that was stopped on the shoulder of the road suddenly pulled out onto the highway. The Amakim traffic police said that according to their preliminary investigation, the car was then hit by a truck that drove up suddenly from behind. The car burst into flames, killing the driver.

The toddler, two-and-a-half year-old Dalal Rafa'iya, was run over and killed by her father, Mohammed Rafa'iya, when he backed up his truck in order to leave for work. He did not notice that she was standing behind it.

After backing up, Mohammed proceeded along the dirt road leading from his village, an unrecognized Bedouin town near Segev Shalom in the Negev, to the main road. A few minutes later, his brother called him to tell him he had run over his own daughter.

A Magen David Adom paramedic who was at the scene of the accident, Natalia Gorodetzky, said the child suffered a fatal head injury and was declared dead on the spot.

Sa'id Harumi, chairman of the Segev Shalom Local Council, said a municipal social worker had been sent to the family to help them deal with the tragedy.

Also yesterday, an 80-year-old woman from Jerusalem was moderately injured when she was hit by a bus in Tiberias near the tomb of Rabbi Hiya. The woman, who was participating in a group tour of the graves of famous rabbis, was taken to Poriya Hospital near Tiberias.

When Route 6, the Trans-Israel Highway, was opened in 2002, its builders said it would be the scene of fewer accidents, since highways are safer than ordinary roads.

However, the first fatal accident occurred only a month after the road opened. According to media reports, the main causes of accidents on the road are loss of control over the vehicle, lack of attention on the part of the driver, and tires in poor condition, which blow out when drivers accelerate to the high speeds the road invites.

The opening of Route 6 has also affected safety on the roads feeding into it. There were 10 accidents at the Eyal interchange during the first six months after Route 6 opened, and the number of accidents on other roads leading to Route 6, such as Route 66, has also increased.