Jerusalem - Egged Crash Victims Identified; Passenger Faults Driver In Collision
Last updated on: February 14, 2016 07:57 PM
Jerusalem - Just hours after the horrific bus crash that took place this evening on Israel’s Highway 1, four of the six fatalities have been identified.
As previously reported on VIN News, an Egged 402 bus from Jerusalem to Bnei Brak hit a stopped truck on the side of the roadway near Modi’in, completely obliterating the right side of the inter-city bus.
27 year old Yaakov Meir Chashin, a Bresolver Chasid, was described by friends as a tremendous baal midos according to reports on Kikar HaShabat. Chashin who lived with his parents in Ramot, had learned at the Nadvorna yeshiva in Bnei Brak and was currently learning in the Bresolver kolel in Meah Shearim.
“He was a bochur who learned both day and night and would distribute pamphlets and seforim of the Rebbe’s writings,” said one close friend. “He would encourage people from all over the world in their yiddishkeit.”
News site B’Chadrei Charedim said that Chashin, the son of Rabbi Yisroel and Mrs. Devorah Yehudis Chashin, was on his way to Bnei Brak to pursue a potential shidduch.
Yisroel Weinberg lived in the Shmuel Hanavi section of Jerusalem and was a direct descendant of the first Slonimer Rebbe and the son of Rabbi Naftali Tzvi Hershel Weinberg. The 26 year old Weinberg was considered to be a top bochur and had a close relationship with his Rebbe. Well liked by his rabbeim and his friends and known for his perpetual smile, Weinberg was on his way to a cousin’s wedding in the Armonot Friedman hall in Bnei Brak.
“He was a bochur who was pure gold,” said one shocked friend.
The third fatality, Levi Yitzchak Amdadi, was the son of Rabbi Hillel Kalman Amdadi, a highly respected dayan and posek in the Breslover community of Yavniel. Amdadi, who learned at Yeshiva Birkas Hatorah in Bnei Brak, was believed to be approximately 17 years old. He was recognized for his mastery of Hilchos Brachos after excelling in a public test two years ago, winning ten volumes of the sefer Chazon Ovadia. His death left residents of Yavniel in shock.
“People are stunned,” said one resident of the Northern Israel community that is home to nearly 400 Breslover families. “People were just speaking about regular things in Yavniel and suddenly this came upon us.”
Mrs. Chana Pesha Frankel was on her way to Bnei Brak for a wedding with her husband of two years at the time of the fatal collision. The daughter of the Biala Ostrovtze Rebbe, a descendant of the Lelover Rebbe and daughter in law of the Botshaner Rebbe, Mrs. Frankel was 23 years old. Those who knew Mrs. Frankel said that she helped raised her siblings after losing her own mother at a young age and remembered her as a woman of exemplary tznius who planned to raise a family in the path of Chasidus.
“She was a woman who had a tremendous simchas hachaim, who always smiled,” said one relative. “She was smart and always rushing to do good.”
Among the others who were severely injured was Sara Springer, who is due to be married shortly. The 20 year old kallah, who was sitting with her sister, was treated at the scene and taken to the Assaf Harofeh Medical Center where she was rushed into surgery. The public is asked to daven for the complete recovery of Sarah bas Dina.
Yinon Yazdi, a Chareidi young man who was injured in the crash, described the accident from his hospital bed.
“I was traveling on the bus and was fortunate enough to be sitting on the driver’s side of the bus,” said Yazdi. “Right next to me, the person on the other side of the aisle died. I saw them covering him with a white cloth. I don’t know how to comprehend this. Baruch Hashem, it is a miracle that I survived.”
Yazdi said that he heard people screaming for help after the impact, removing a bench from atop an injured passenger and helping him off the bus. The man implored him to go back and find his wife, who was still on the bus, trapped between the benches.
Running to the highway, Yazdi began flagging down passing cars.
I told them to call for an ambulance, that people were dying here,” said Yazdi, who estimated that it took approximately 15 minutes for help to arrive.
Yazdi faulted the bus driver for the accident, saying that he was driving irresponsibly and should have seen the truck, with its emergency lights flashing, stopped on the side of the road. Yazdi said that the death toll could have been higher had the bus been carrying more passengers.
Israeli authorities are investigating the driver of the bus, an Arab resident of East Jerusalem in his 40s, who according to Maariv, had been involved in a crash three years ago while driving the same route.
The stopped truck had been hauling stone when it experienced mechanical failure, according to the driver’s brother. The driver of the truck, Gilo resident Rizk Zerina has been employed as a truck driver for 15 years and has been with his current employer, an Israeli firm, for the last four years. Zerina was waiting for a tow truck in the cab of his vehicle at the time of the deadly accident.
Responders who arrived on scene found bodies strewn on the ground, with others trapped inside the mangled bus.
“The place looked like a battlefield,” ZAKA spokesperson Moti Bochkin told Arutz Sheva. “Some of them flew from the bus. Some of them were crushed to death.”
Bochkin said that the scene was shrouded in a deathly silence, similar to the aftermath of a terror attack. The veteran ZAKA member described the accident as “one of the most serious incidents that will be engraved on my memory.”
Prime Minister Benjanim Netanyahu spoke briefly about the collision in his remarks tonight at the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.
“The people of Israel feel the grief of stricken families, whether by terror or as we’ve had today, a horrific accident, road accident and we send our condolences to the families of those killed, and of course our hopes for the speedy recovery of the wounded.”
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