HORROR IN ISRAEL: Family of 8 R”L Burned Alive in Crash; Other Driver Was USING HIS CELLPHONE

The Atar family from Psagot killed in the fiery crash on Route 90


A driver who appeared to be distracted by his cellphone caused a horrific fiery crash in Israel on Tuesday morning that left a family of 8 R”L dead in the vehicle he struck.

According to Magen David Adom, two vehicles collided head-on on Route 90 in the Dead Sea area, with one bursting into flames.

Paramedics and EMTs responded, finding the left parents and their 6 children trapped in the burning vehicle.

The victims have been identified as the Atar family, Frum residents of Psagot, a Yishuv in the Binyamin Regional Council of Shomron with about 300 families.

Yariv (father – 45), Shoshi (mother – 47), Yaakov Yisroel (12), Ateres (11), Ayala (9), Moriah (7), Yedid (5) and Avigayil (3) all perished in the blaze.

Yariv was employed in a high-tech firm and Shoshi was involved in special ed for a NGO, Keren Ohr in Yerushalayim.

The family was returning home from vacation in their Renault van. According to the preliminary police report, the driver of the vehicle of the survivors, a Toyota SUV, veered into the other lane, striking the Atar family’s vehicle, which exploded in flames. According to News 13, police say the driver of that vehicle immediately ran to the car in flames in an effort to extricate the family, albeit, without success. Emergency responders quote the driver saying “I murdered an entire family! I will never drive again!”

In the meantime, officials in Beersheva’s Soroka Medical Center are treating the survivors of the second vehicle. There is a mother, a woman in her 50s, and her 12-year-old daughter. The mom is in light condition and the daughter is listed in moderate condition with non-life-threatening head injuries. They were transported to the hospital in an MDA chopper. The father, who was in light condition in Soroka, was transported by ambulance. He has since been discharged and is being questioned by police.

[DRUGS SUSPECTED: Driver Who Caused Crash That Killed Family of 8 May Have Been High on Marijuana]

The investigation to determine the cause of the fatal MVA continues but according to the experts, it appears the surviving male was distracted for one reason or another as road and weather conditions were optimum. Police believe he was engaged with his mobile phone.

A senior police official told News 13 evening news that it is likely he will face a criminal indictment. The driver is reportedly in a most difficult mental state, well aware of what his actions caused.

In a letter released this evening by Avi Roeh, head of the regional council, social workers on Wednesday will be visiting the classrooms of the schools the victims attended to assist the children in dealing with the tragic and sudden loss.

Levaya details to be announced.

ZAKA Chief Yehuda Meshi-Zahav made an impassioned appeal to motorists to stop busying themselves with smartphones while driving, including texting and any other action that compromises one’s attention from the road and operating a motor vehicle, for too many persons have been killed and injured from such actions, which are preventable, and it is in out hands to effect change. Meshi-Zahav pleads with the tzibur to leave the texting and WhatsApp alone while driving and realize what can occur in seconds of taking one’s attention off the road.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem / Photo Credit: Negev Fire & Rescue & MDA)


  1. Baruch dayan haEmes.
    The only consolation here is that they were not “burned alive”, as this sensational headline misleads.
    That vehicle has been lateraly crushed from impact before burning. That was not a survivable crash for anyone inside, R’l.

  2. Did we really need those pictures of the burned vehicle? There is an issur from deriving benefit from niftarim. Might this use of pictures to get clicks possibly fall under that? We can mourn the victims without having to have all the gruesome images associated with their passing.

  3. Midwest2, if it will prevent even 1 single accident then it is good that the pictures were published. I don’t know the details of this accident, but too many of them happen from drivers not paying attention, so yes, let people see what can potentially happen if you text and drive, turn around etc.

  4. ברוך דיין האמת

    It hurts… It Hurts so much!!! Tragedy after Tragedy, Hashem YeRachaim!!!
    I personally think that It’s time for all of us to START doing real Teshuva, be honest… Daven like a Jew. NO talking during Davening, No Kiddish club’s during or after Davening.. set a good example for our children etc. each and every one of us knows what they have to improve in, lets start making changed in our lives TODAY.

    גמ’ שבת ק”ה – “אמר ר’ חייא בר אבא אמר רבי יוחנן: אחד מן האחין שמת ידאגו כל האחין כולן. אחד מבני חבורה שמת – תדאג כל החבורה כולה; אמרי לה דמת גדול, ואמרי לה דמת קטן” ע”כ לשון הגמרא. יש מפרשים: מכיון שזה גורם צער לכל בני החבורה סימן שיש גם עליהם קטרוג, כי אם לא היה מגיע להם צער אז ע”י זכותם הוא לא היה מת, וכן רואים שמידת הדין שלטה בהם, ולא הגנה זכותם
    א”כ אולי נגמר להם הזכויות על המשך חיותם בעוה”ז ח”ו ועי’ במהרש”א שם. ולכן חייבים אנחנו כולנו לשוב לד’ ית’ שמו בלב שלם

    ועין רמב”ם הלכות אבל פרק יג כל מי שאינו מתאבל כמו שצוו חכמים הרי זה אכזרי, אלא יפחד וידאג ויפשפש במעשיו ויחזור בתשובה, ואחד מבני חבורה שמת תדאג כל החבורה כולה.

  5. Hey midwest2,
    I don’t believe you are over any issur here. its pictures of the car. zero bodies in the pictures. If you don’t want to see the pictures then maybe just read the story without looking at the pictures. They’re part of the news.

  6. Terrible.
    There might be an answer to this. Shimon Peres once had a study done regarding the carnage on the Israeli highways.
    The results of the study were ‘lenient judges.’ Everyone knows everyone else, so the bad drivers are not punished properly, and continue their poor driving.

  7. If my comment is correct, and this is the reason, then The Israeli Government almost caused as many deaths as at The Pittsburgh Shooting, in one incident.
    They’ve caused many more.
    More than terrorists, I believe (?).

  8. reminds me of last year 3 american bucherim in a major car accident and b”H had a happy outcome.
    One is married and 2 are engaged .
    the govt. of course can not make dividers on every road but at least the drivers need more training and more speed traps to stop those accidents.

  9. TTTango…..There is more than enough shtus to blame on the Trumpkopf so we don’t need to connect him in any way to this tragedy……when the attempted assassin of two ex-presidents and the butcher of 11 yidden BOTH invoke the same venom cited by the Trumpkopf (aka Jews like Soros supporting the Caravan in Mexico etc.) we can simply step back and wait for his next mindless Tweet or rant that makes the racists, anti-semites and white supremacists feel they have a friend in the WH.

  10. To Rebyossel

    Here a beautiful family of 8 R’L lost their lives in a horrible tragedy, and you feel the need to pour salt in wounds by talking about another car accident with a happy outcome. You remind me of the type of person that will make a Shiva call only to make the Aveilim feel worse by insensitive questions and remarks. Hope you learned something now.

  11. To Genya
    No way did i mean to make stupid remarks,the opposite i meant that we need more safety training and government interference to avoid such tragedies,i was just referring to an accident in the same area which ended up staying alive. Those 3 bucherim were all hospitalized,went thru major surgeries. i am not here paying a shiva call and trying to comfort a family which there is NO words to speak, So please dont try to interpert every word that you might think negative.

  12. I am beside myself from hearing this
    I struggle and suffer from Borderline personality disorder. Things have been incredibly difficult and challenging for me in the past few months and nothing has been working, not medication, nor therapy or DBT skills. Hearing this news has broken the wall inside of me, the wall of self pity and self destructiveness. I am crying for their loss for this beautiful family! I am crying for someone else. I can finally see things clearer. Life is so valuable. Even a life like mine. For the 1st time is a while I don’t feel suicidal and I don’t feel like I’m worthless to God. I feel like I’m here for a purpose and God has a plan for me. Life is a gift. I should just embrace it and learn that I can get through my struggles of Mental Illness. For their Neshamos, for this family’s Aliya, I can grow and become better and do God will as a Zechus for them!

  13. Horrific. Baruch Dayan Ha’Emes. Meir G: Re the headline… I agree. Quite misleading. Unfortunately, YW is not alone in posting misleading comments. It’s pervasive. I write and edit professionally (often under the gun, with quick turnaround required) so I understand that the best judgment isn’t always reflected in the wording. Still, I cringe when I see something like this. The media can and should do better, especially if they wish to be taken seriously.

  14. Really, so important to mention that he was Frum? It’s not awful that it’s a Jewish family, does it make any difference at all whether it’s a Frum family or not?

  15. For chareidi amiti: They have burnd alive… I just want to cry cry cry….
    מה אשווה לך בת ציון ומה אנחמך בת ירושלים, כי גדול כים שברך מי ירפא לך.
    אבן מקיר תזעק!!! תקום תרחם ציון, תבנה חומות ירושלים
    ומחה א-דני א-להים דמעה מעל כל פנים. Oy Gevald!!!!!!

  16. BPD: You are a tremendous inspiration to all of us! If you had to suffer in order to provide us with that inspiration, in your few powerful words of truth- forgive me- but it has been worth it. G-d bless you! May you to continue to uplift the people around you! You are truly someone very special…

  17. RebYossel, the government has done enough in the area of safety training. Its time the people take responsibility for their own actions. Recently the government raised significantly the fines for even looking down at your phone or touching it in any way. Dont blame the government. Yes the road could have been safer with a divider but the drivers knew the level of difficulty of the road and should have been more careful. The driver was careless and thoughtless and drove dangerously and now a family has been wiped out.
    That should be more powerful message to all. That should teach us more than any government initiated campaign.
    May we learn the lessons of this tragedy and never see it repeated.

  18. BD’E Obviously no words can describe the pain and we just have to daven that this long and bitter Galus should end already. I just want to point out that someone has to call up the department that deals with the roads in Israel if you look in the picture and from my personal experience on the roads in Israel their are two way highways like this one with a broken white line in the middle that in America would mean that both lanes are going in the same direction someone who is not used to Israeli roads can get confused and cross over thinking he or she is merely switching lanes. I’ve seen it happen with a close call. I am not saying that that is what happened in this case, however, it is very dangerous. they should either have a solid white line or even better yet a solid yellow line.

  19. Some of the comments here are so idiotic that they are beyond belief. It is one thing to accidentally speak without thinking. But to type a comment and then press send takes a couple of steps. It should give a person a few minutes to rethink what he says before sending. I can only conclude that some of you are literally brainless and I have to feel sorry for the people who live around you and are most probably the subject of your unfiltered and uncontrolled verbal diarrhea on a daily basis.

  20. A56 – The road markings in Israel are different from those in the US that you are used to. The center line in Israel is white, not yellow as in the US, and the line at the side of the road is yellow, not white. A solid line in the middle of the road means “no passing” – similar to a double-yellow in the US. A broken white line in the middle of a two-way road means the same as a broken yellow in the US – i.e., if the road is clear, you are allowed to swing out to pass. This is common knowledge in Israel, and in fact, is the standard throughout Europe.

    This in no way minimizes the tragedy or the responsibility of the distracted driver who caused the accident – who has now been charged in connection with this accident. From what I’ve read, though, his biggest punishment is going to be the knowledge that through his negligence, an entire family was wiped out – he has been described as being “not in a good state” on account of this.

    May the remaining extended family have a Nechama, and may we never know of such tragedies again. I don’t know what else to say – this is such an awful story that words fail me.

    an Israeli Yid

  21. Reb Don: Thank you for your feedback. I really appreciate it
    And as for my Recovery, My therapist always says “Pain is inevitable. Suffering is a choice”. And that choice is my power. I hope to only go upwards from here

  22. BPD,

    Fighting this disease is a huge nisoyon and from what you write I gleaned that you are a sensitive, caring and thinking individual with great courage. Hashem has given you the strength and capacity to deal with this. You are in my thoughts and have inspired me.

  23. Whoever blames the Israeli government, I say this:

    Have you written your concerns to the people in charge of road safety in Israel?

    You hate and belittle Israel and ought to be ashamed. A hatred has likely been taught to you since birth, sadly.

  24. StuartW: Thank you. I appreciate the Chizuk. For real! It’s means a great deal to me
    Out in the world (Frum world especially) people like me are looked down apon, and that’s why it’s so refreshing and motivating to hear that someone can see the good in me and for what my Neshama yearns to be like.