(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org) Three people were killed Saturday night when a man apparently suffered a heart attack while driving through Tel Aviv and his car plowed into a busy restaurant. The driver, 41, from the central Israeli city of Ra’anana, was among those who died, along with two other men, U.S. citizen Alan Weinkrantz and Ashdod resident Menashe Raz.
Weinkrantz was a well-known public relations specialist from San Antonio who worked closely with the Israeli high-tech industry. Raz had come to the restaurant with his family and was speaking on his cellphone outside at the time that he was hit. His daughter and sister-in-law were moderately injured in the accident. Raz’s daughter was evacuated to Sourasky Medical Center, where she underwent an operation, and his sister-in-law was taken to Wolfson Medical Center, also for an operation.
The driver was reportedly traveling quickly when he suffered a heart attack and lost control of his car, which then drove onto the sidewalk and crashed into Furama, an Asian restaurant on crowded Ben Yehuda Street. According to some media reports, bystanders beat the driver after the crash, assuming at first that he was a terrorist who had committed a ramming attack.
In addition to the two men who were hit and killed, at least six other people were injured in the accident. Sourasky Medical Center Trauma Unit Director Dr. Dror Soffer said the three people who died in the accident had arrived at the hospital in critical condition and were pronounced dead minutes after their arrival. The others suffered light and moderate injuries.