2 Golani soldiers killed in Highway 6 car crash
Staff Sergeant Bar Yakubian, 19, and Staff Sergeant Eshto Tespo, 21, killed when a truck driven by east Jerusalem resident crashed into their jeep along Highway 6; driver apparently lost control of vehicle, veered onto soldiers' jeep convoy; 10 other soldiers injured—one seriously, one moderately and rest lightly.
Two IDF soldiers were killed in a fatal car crash Tuesday on Highway 6, near the Nitzanei Oz interchange in central Israel, when their jeep collided with a truck whose driver apparently lost control of his vehicle.
The casualties are Sergeant Bar Yakubian, 19, of Netiv HaShayara and Sergeant Eshto Tespo, 21, of Petah Tikva. They both received the customary posthumous promotion to staff sergeant. The IDF Spokesperson's Unit said, "The IDF shares the families' grief and will continue accompanying them."
The soldiers, members of Golani's reconnaissance battalion, were making their way down the highway heading south in a convoy of jeeps when they were hit by a truck. Ten additional soldiers were injured—one seriously, one moderately and the remainder lightly. They were taken to hospitals for further treatment.
The driver of the truck, an east Jerusalem resident, was released from the Laniado Hospital in Netanya and then detained for questioning to ascertain the sequence of events leading up to the accident.
An initial inquiry turned up that the three military vehicles were driving slowly along the road, whereas the truck driver seems to have lost control of his rig and crashed into them. The driver was arrested when his interrogation concluded and will be remanded at the Petah Tikva traffic court Wednesday.
Fire teams from Hadera and Netanya stations were rushed to the scene to extricate the injured soldiers, who were trapped in their vehicles, while the two aforementioned casualties were removed from their vehicle after having passed away.
Highway 6 was blocked off to traffic briefly Tuesday to allow a helicopter to land on the road and airlift the injured to hospitals.
The combat soldiers were making their way from a periodic exercise in the north to another exercise in Central Command's training base, in preparation for undertaking various missions in the West Bank starting next week.
GOC Northern Command Maj.-Gen. Yoel Strik has decided to create a team of experts—to be headed by Col. Yair Natans—to inquire into the incident and its particulars. In addition, both Israel Police and the Military Police began their own investigations into the matter.