The Be’er Sheva Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday remanded the driver suspected of killing eight members of the Atar family from Psagot, a town in Binyamin (see: 8 Members of Samaria Family Killed in Car Accident Near Dead Sea). The road accident took place on Highway 90 in the area of the Dead Sea Hotels on Tuesday. According to the police, he is suspected of driving under the influence of drugs.
During his remand hearing, he testified that he had committed more than 20 traffic offenses in the past and that he suspected that he had committed an indirect bypass.
The driver’s name and photo have not been disclosed at the request of his defense attorneys.
A preliminary police investigation revealed that the accident occurred as a result of a head-on collision between an SUV and a private vehicle. The driver, 50, and his wife were lightly wounded and their daughter was moderately injured.
Judge Zvi Furer said during the hearing that he does not wish on anyone “to be in the place of the man who is present here.” He also said: “There’s no dispute regarding the suspicions, there’s no need to continue the investigation.”
The driver’s attorney, Aviad Hayat, said his client was collaborating with police, adding that “this is a case in which the results are bleak for everyone.” About his client he said, “He doesn’t stop crying.”
An MDA female paramedic who arrived at the scene of the accident Tuesday said the driver shouted: “I killed them, I killed them.”
At the hospital, the driver told police: “I have nothing to hide, you know exactly what happened there. It’s the first time this has happened to me. I do not remember what happened there, I know I killed five people. I’m not driving anymore. I want to die. How am I going to handle this?”
Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Haaretz correspondent Naama Riba tweeted a recommended correction to the tragic story: “Terrible tragedy, but I’d like to remind you, Psagot is not a community, it’s a settlement.”
To remind us that fanatic zealotry is not the necessarily the domain of religious people.