Half a day after the most lethal car accident in Israel in six years, the driver of the second vehicle was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter.
The driver, who was lightly wounded and whose wife and daughter were also injured in the crash, was presented with the preliminary findings of the investigation. His vehicle was taken for mechanical tests in order to rule out other causes for the crash. He is not cooperating with police investigators.
"The father was hysterical and crying, saying 'I killed them, I killed them,'" said Sarah Israeli, an MDA paramedic who was first on the scene.
According to testimonies given at the scene, the suspect ran to the other vehicle and tried to help the family members who had been trapped in a car that had caught fire and soon burned down completely.
The Atar family settled in Psagot about 13 years ago, shortly after Yariv and Shoshi got married. The father worked for a computer company and was a special education teacher at Keren Or in Jerusalem, a center for blind children with multiple disabilities.
Five of the children attended the elementary school and kindergartens in Psagot, and their eldest son, Yaakov Israel, 12, studied at the Yeshiva High School of Mateh Binyamin in Beit El.
Following the fatal accident, community gatherings were held in Psagot, together with the professional staff, the community's rabbi and the welfare and social services staff of Mateh Binyamin Regional Council.
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."
"A deviation of one of the vehicles caused a fatal crash. We are currently investigating the circumstances of the incident. As a result of the head-on collision, one vehicle caught fire while all of its passengers were on board. Consequently, all passengers, eight members of the same family, were killed on the spot. The incident is under preliminary investigation of the district examiners' unit," Shimon Botbol, a traffic police officer from the Southern District Police, said following the accident