On Thursday night, over 300 United Hatzalah volunteers gathered in Mount Meron, for a commemorative ceremony in honor of the 45 victims who perished during the Meron tragedy. After the ceremony had concluded the volunteers began making their way home, for many of them, that meant a lengthy trip southward. At 1:00 a.m., United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Shoshana Primak was descending the mountain on her way home when she witnessed a motor vehicle accident took place right in front of her eyes.

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Shoshana at the Meron commemoration event – Photo credit: Shira Hershkop

A tow truck was stopped on the side of the road heading up the hill and a man was hooking a car onto the truck when a speeding vehicle on its way up collided with the man, tossing him across the street with force. Shoshana and the three EMTs who were riding with her in her car witnessed the accident. Shoshana immediately pulled over and crossed the street to assist the severely injured man.

Shoshana alerted United Hatzalah’s Dispatch and Command Center regarding the accident and just a minute later, paramedic Ariel Shussheim, who was also leaving the event arrived at the scene. The EMTs administered a neck brace for stabilization and treated his various injuries.

The man began describing a sharp pain he was feeling in his left leg, and Ariel administered medications to help ease the man’s pain. Shoshana began noticing the cars and ambucycles of EMTs coming from the direction of Meron as more and more volunteers who were at the ceremony responded to the emergency to see if any additional help was needed.

Shoshana made sure that the man was in good hands and rushed to her car on the other side of the street. Shoshana then turned her car around with the headlights facing toward the coming cars and turned on her brights, signaling the drivers to slow down. Shoshana was afraid that the steep hill and fast drivers stopping to see the accident could potentially cause another one. By forcing the drivers to slow down she was able to ensure that no cars stopped too abruptly and thus endangered their occupants as well as the people on the roadway.

After a few minutes, an ambulance arrived at the scene to take the man to the nearest hospital. The tow truck was moved, and the policemen who had arrived at the scene had cleared the roadway. When the scene was mostly evacuated, Shoshana and the three EMTs returned to her car safely and continued their drive home.

“It was a complicated accident,” explained Shoshana. “On the one hand, EMTs on their way coming down the mountain wanted to help, but on the other hand, I was afraid that their stopping could potentially cause an accident. One EMT stopped and I assured him that there was a paramedic and a team of EMTs with the man and that he was in good hands. I had to explain the situation a few times over to different people who wanted to help. I know that it was coming from a place of kindness and it was inspiring to see how many people wanted to stop and help. I’m glad that we were able to provide care for the injured man and that we were able to do so safely in spite of the treacherous road and the darkness of the night.”

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