Hundreds of mourners participated in the levayah on Wednesday for the eight members of the Atar family from Psagot who were killed in a road accident near the Dead Sea the day before.
Meital Tzviel, a close friend of the family, gave a hespid at the levayah in Netanyah.
“When we heard about it, we refused to believe it,” she said. “The heart is broken, and I do not know how to accept it. I do not know how to tell the children how to deal with it,” she said. “We received the news, but it still hasn’t registered. How can we commemorate such an amazing family as the Atar family? What can you take from them?” she was quoted as saying by Arutz Sheva.
Tzviel’s family lived for years near the Atar family, and Meital said of her friend Shoshi, a”h: “We lived together for years in the neighborhood. Shoshi was a good friend and there was a lot of nobility, wisdom, sensitivity and a desire to listen and to know. Educating the children was the main thing for them, they invested a lot in it.”
Rabbi Yosef Weitzen, of Psagot, said: “A noble family that surrounded everyone around them with their joy, they were people of kindness on an unimaginable level. We have to do a soul-searching — but soul-searching for eight people I don’t know how to do.”
Miriam Dadon, a friend of Shoshi Atar, a”h, said, “Instead of getting a happy embrace for my son’s Bar Mitzvah, we’ll have to give another kind of hug. She was an island of sanity who always thought for the good.”
Yariv Atar, z”l, worked for a computer company, and his wife Shoshi, z”l, was a special education teacher at Keren Or in Yerushalayim.
Meanwhile, the driver of the car that collided with the Atars’ vehicle was being held in police custody on Wednesday on suspicion of manslaughter for causing the accident while under the influence of illegal substances, The Times of Israel reported.
The 52-year-old man was ordered held for six more days, after it emerged that he had a record of more than 20 traffic offenses. The judge agreed to the request of his lawyer that his name not be released.
“The suspicion of manslaughter is based, among other things, on findings that raise suspicions that the suspect used drugs,” Judge Zvi Furer wrote in his decision, adding that the suspect was cooperating with investigators, Ynet reported.
“The driver is bruised, injured and confused. He was questioned while his daughter was anesthetized and breathing through a ventilator. At this stage it isn’t clear who is to blame for the accident. He does not remember exactly what happened, and we hope the police will investigate quickly,” his lawyers were quoted as saying by Channel 10 news.
Immediately following the crash, the driver reportedly said, “I killed them, I’m not driving anymore.”