A rabbi and father of 10 from Israel was killed early Thursday in a car accident in Ukraine while making his way from Rosh Hashanah pilgrimage in the city of Uman, officials in the country confirmed.
Every year, thousands of members of the Breslov Hasidic movement descend on Uman in time for the Jewish New Year for a three-day celebration at the gravesite of the movement's founder Rebbe Nachman of Breslov.
Rabbi Avraham Levy, 45, from Beit Shemesh was fatally injured in the car crash while making his way, along with a group of Hassidic pilgrims, from Rosh Hashanah celebrations at the tomb of Rabbi Nachman. He is survived by a wife and ten children.
Four other Israelis were lightly hurt in the accident.
The accident occurred after a shuttle carrying the pilgrims smashed into a bus about 80 kilometers from Uman, while making its way to the airport in the capital of Kiev.
Local medical teams and civilians performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation on Rabbi Levy, who suffered wounds to most parts of his body, but they were not successful.
A preliminary investigation revealed that the driver of the shuttle vehicle had been blinded by the headlights of the bus that appeared in front of him and made a sharp turn to avoid a head-on collision, which he did not manage to prevent.
Nachman Revivo - a volunteer from ZAKA Search and Rescue in Ukraine - was at the scene of the accident, which he called "very serious".
"The shuttle vehicle was crushed by the force of the collision. After resuscitation attempts, a local doctor was forced to determine the passenger's death. A team of ZAKA volunteers in Ukraine is taking care of the deceased."