Following the bus accident in the Beit Shemesh area, which resulted in injuries to 50 youth movement trainees, and amid the investigation regarding the bus driver's use of a restricted road for heavy vehicles, 10-year-old Be'eri Cohen, who was injured in the incident, shared his account on Ynet Live today.
"Before we reached the square, I noticed unusual sounds from the bus engine, and I realized that the driver was speeding," Be'eri said. "When we reached the square, the driver couldn't navigate the turn and the bus ended up in the ditch."
Be'eri continued to recount the events following the rollover. "The windows shattered, and I was thrown from the window to the floor. I heard screams, and there were children who were telling us to stay calm and breathe deeply. Many were crying. I found a phone on the floor, either belonging to one of the children or the counselors. I picked it up and called my mother, who came to pick me up," he said.
His mother, Ora, told Ynet Live: "After Be'eri called me, it took me a few moments to comprehend what was happening. I was in a state of hysteria and felt completely helpless. I was incredibly frustrated. I immediately rushed to be with my child as soon as possible."
The mother expressed her uncertainty about the cause of the incident. "I don't know why it happened, but there was no responsible adult present and having counselors is insufficient. A 17-year-old, no matter how mature, cannot handle such a situation." She added: "The youth movement is wonderful, everyone is concerned and checking on us – they even established a call center. Today, a psychologist is coming to speak with the parents and children, and she is also a social worker from the municipality. I believe it is essential to proactively address the needs of the youth movements rather than waiting for a disaster to occur."
Traffic inspectors from the Jerusalem District are conducting an investigation to determine if the bus driver involved in the accident, in which the bus overturned into the canal near Beit Shemesh at the Ashtaul junction, was driving on a road that prohibits heavy vehicles weighing over four tons.
Immediately after the accident, an eyewitness contacted the Magen David Adom hotline to report the incident. In the recorded call, the woman describes the situation. "There is a roundabout leading to Route 38, and there has been a bus accident with many children involved. The bus has overturned, and there are people here trying to help. The bus is filled with children. Some are trapped inside and others are assisting in the rescue efforts," the caller told the hotline.
According to the investigation's findings, the bus, carrying youth movement trainees, was traveling from Mount Eitan to Beit Shemesh. It appears that the bus was on road 395, a road prohibited for heavy vehicles. When attempting to merge onto Route 38, the driver lost control at the traffic circle, causing the bus to overturn into a ditch. Police are currently investigating whether brake failure contributed to the driver's loss of control.
Reports suggest 50 children sustained injuries, with one of them in serious condition. Three other children suffered moderate injuries, while the remaining child had minor injuries. All were taken to nearby hospitals.