An IDF soldier was killed and two other were lightly wounded Thursday in an accident involving a military Humvee. The accident occurred near Kibbutz Malkia in the Upper Galilee region not far from the border with Lebanon, the IDF Spokespersons Unit said.
The soldier has been identified as Corporal Alhai Shitreet, 19, from Ashkelon. His family has been informed.
Soldier killed in crash near border with Lebanon (Photo: Avihu Shapira)
The soldiers were part of the Engineering Corps and were traveling in a military Humvee en route from an administrative mission they had particiaped in together with additional soldiers from the corps, not far from the Lebanese border.
While the Humvee climbed the road to the Turmus outpost, near Kibbutz Malkia, the vehicle flipped over.
An IDF helicopter was alerted the scene, but by the time it arrived IDF paramedics were forced to declare one of the soldiers dead. Two other soldiers who were traveling with him sustained light injuries and were taken to a local hospital.
Elhai enlisted into the IDF six months ago. The oldest son in his family, he graduated from Henry Ronson High School where his mother Mali is a science teacher.
Family friends told Ynet that Elhai was his mother pride and joy and she talked about him constantly with her friends and students. "Elhai was her entire world and she is devastated by his death," they told Ynet. His family and high school teachers said that Elhai was a kind boy who was loved by everyone around him, said Henry Ronson High School Principle Talia Berkovich.
"Just last Friday he came to school wearing his IDF Uniform with great pride. He came to visit his former teachers to thank them for everything they have done for him during his years in school. He was an amazing boy and we still can't believe he is gone," said Berkovich.
Though the IDF is still investigating the crash, the current assessment is that the Humvee's driver lost control of the vehical. The IDF are currently attempting to find out if the soldiers were wearing their seatbelts and helmets, as the army protocol requires when traveling in open-air Humvees.
A similar incident occurred last July, when female soldier who was driving a humvee flipped over and sustained light injuries.
The vehicle turned over in the Galilee during an Armored Corps training mission and an IDF source told Ynet at the time that the crash was possibly the result of lack of sleep on the driver's part.
As part of the training mission in which they were involved, Humvee drivers were began the drill during the nighttime and were supposed to sleep during the afternoon and evening. However, Ynet's source revealed that the injured driver, as well as other drivers, were required to drive several additional hours later that day, and when they asked officers for resting time they were denied.
In November 2007 a reserve soldier was killed and five others were lightly to moderately injured when the IDF armored personnel carrier (APC) they were traveling in flipped over.
The dead soldier was identified as First Sergeant Assaf Waxman, 28, from Rishon Lezion.
A few weeks before hand, an IDF soldier was killed in a similar accident while he was on operational duty near the border with Gaza Strip border, near the Kissufim checkpoint.
The soldier, First Sergeant-Major Yariv Ben-Amitai, 21, of Kibbutz Hazorim, was part of the Golani Brigade's 13th regiment, and was seriously injured as his Hummer vehicle overturned during a routine patrol along the border fence, and died of his wounds shortly afterward.