Funerals today for father, mother and 6 children consumed in fiery crash

Funerals for eight members of the Atar family, including six children, will be held today.

By David Isaac, World Israel News

Funerals for eight members of the Atar family who died in a horrific head-on collision on Highway 90 near the Dead Sea  will be held this afternoon at 2:30 p.m. in Netanya.

The family hailed from the settlement of Psagot in the Benjamin region in Samaria.

The dead include the father Yariv, 45, Shoshana, 47 and their six children, Yaakov-Yisrael, 12, Atara, 11, Ayela, 9, Moriah, 7, Yadid, 5 and Avigail, 3.

Yariv worked at a computer company and Shoshana worked as a special education teacher in Jerusalem.

(Israeli police/screenshot)

Investigators’ initial findings point to driver error, suggesting one of the drivers wasn’t paying attention. The other car appears to have held four passengers, including a 52-year-old woman, a 50-year-old male and a 12-year-old girl. The first two were transported to a hospital and listed in moderate condition. The man was only light injured.

Driver Suspected

Suspicion has fallen on the driver of the second car. Latest reports say he used drugs before the accident and has a history of over 20 driving misdemeanors.

The driver, a 52-year-old male, said to first responders at the scene, “I know I killed people.” His words immediately raised suspicion that he was responsible. According to initial reports, police first suspected he was looking at his cellphone while driving which led to the accident. It since emerged he may have been using illegal substances.

Following the driver’s release from hospital he was arrested and the police convinced the court to extend his arrest six days.

Attorney Aviad Hait, who represents the driver together with Yanon Haiman, said his client is cooperating fully with the authorities and that there is no need to extend his imprisonment. Hait said his client was confused at the time of the accident when he uttered his statement.

The driver has since said he doesn’t remember what happened and that he will never drive again.