Eight people, including children, were killed on Tuesday afternoon in a car collision on route 90, between the Dead Sea and Ein Gedi. This was the most lethal car accident in Israel in six years.
One of the vehicles, an eight-seat commercial van, caught fire, and all of the passengers on board, members of the same family, were killed.
In the second car, a Toyota Land Cruiser, a mother, 53, and her daughter, 12, were moderately injured, while the father, 50, was lightly hurt. The mother and daughter were airlifted to the Soroka Medical Center in Be'er Sheva, while the father was evacuated in an ambulance.
"The father was hysteric and crying, saying 'I killed them, I killed them,'" said Sarah Israeli, an MDA paramedic who was first on the scene.
MDA spokesman Zaki Heller told Ynet that "when our medics and paramedics arrived on the scene, the car was on fire and unfortunately it was not possible to rescue them. Sadly no one survived in that vehicle."
Shlomo Landor, a volunteer with an emergency response team from ZAKA, described the scene of the accident as "horrible sights that take me back 20 years to the time of terror bombings. We still can't extract the bodies; they're still trapped inside the burned vehicle."
The commander of the Arad police station, Guy Hayun, told Ynet that it was early to say what had happened and who was to blame, as the road is new and had wide margins.
The father, who drove the Toyota Land Cruiser, told police at the hospital, "I don't remember what happened there. I know I killed people. I'm never driving again."
"I have nothing to hide," he also told them. "You know exactly what happened. This is the first time this happens to me."
Route 90 was closed for traffic between Ein Gedi to Ein Bokek in both directions because of the accident.
According to the Israel National Road Safety Authority, 240 people have been killed in car accidents in 2018 so far, compared to 310 in the same time period in 2017.
According to the Or Yarok Association for Safer Driving in Israel, there have been some 1,350 car accidents on route 90 over the past decade, with 120 people killed on that road. Over 4,000 people were injured, 374 of them seriously.
Attila Somfalvi and Alexandra Lukash contributed to this report.