Over 32 yeshiva students from the US were injured in a
serious road accident last week late Thursday night near
Yanai Junction in the Sharon Region. Two of the victims are
listed in serious condition and three in moderate condition,
while the rest sustained only minor injuries.
Most of the talmidim were alumni of Yeshivas Or
Yisroel in Brooklyn, NY, and had come to Eretz Yisroel for a
brief visit. A few yeshiva students from Jerusalem were also
on the bus. They were traveling from Jerusalem to Meron,
where they were scheduled to spend Shabbos, when the accident
According to the police investigation, the bus collided with
a parked army flatbed carrying a tank and blocking part of
the lane of traffic. The truck had stopped on the side of the
road following a technical problem and the bus driver may
have dozed momentarily just before the powerful impact.
The passengers, most of whom did not speak Hebrew, were in a
state of general panic following the accident. Numerous
rescue workers from Hatzolah, ZAKA, Magen David Adom and the
fire department arrived at the scene almost immediately,
where they spent a long time administering first aid to the
accident victims and transporting them to area hospitals.
Members of Hatzoloh and ZAKA from Netanya and Hadera who
treated the victims even assisted hospital personnel to
communicate with the patients.
Sixteen talmidim who sustained minor injuries were
transported to Laniado Hospital in Netanya's Kiryat Tzanz,
while 14 others were brought to Hillel Yaffa Hospital in
Hadera. The two who suffered serious injuries were stabilized
at Beilinson Hospital in Petach Tikva and then transferred to
Tel Hashomer Hospital. Some of the accident victims were
released on Friday and others were transferred to a hospital
in Jerusalem for treatment and observation.
Shortly after the collision observers at the accident scene
met a grim sight. "The scene looked like after a terrorist
attack," one eyewitness told reporters. "Fragments of glass
were scattered everywhere, a tire was lying on the road. The
right side of the bus was completely torn off. The seats were
covered with food, challos and blood stains. The whole
front end of the bus was destroyed. The windshield was
totally shattered. Some of the passengers' bags were lying in
a pile and shoes were lying loosely on the floor of the
Friday morning the police began to investigate allegations by
some passengers that the driver had fallen asleep at the
wheel. They said the driver told them at the beginning of the
trip he was tired following long hours of driving and that he
had slept very little the previous night. The police took the
tachometer for checks that could indicate the reason for the
ZAKA of Netanya took passengers unharmed in the accident to
Kiryat Tzanz, where arrangements were made for lodging and
Shabbos meals. ZAKA and Hatzoloh volunteers worked late into
the night after all the victims had been evacuated,
gatherings all of their belongings--tefillin, hats,
suits, luggage, etc.--and bringing them to Kiryat Tzanz,
where they were sorted by the uninjured passengers.
The public has been asked to pray for the speedy recovery of
the victims who sustained serious injuries: Yechezkel Shraga
ben Chayoh Perl, Avrohom Tzvi ben Sheindel, Moshe ben Channah
Rivkoh, Nachum Yisroel ben Reitza, Boruch Avrohom Tzvi ben
Sheindel Soroh, the Rosh Hayeshiva, Rabbi Eliezer Geldzahler,
Elimelech Eliezer ben Henia Frida, and his son Mordechai Dov
Ber ben Beila Miriam.
A spokesman for Hatzolah said on Monday night that plans were
underway to transport them back to the US.