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Saving Lives on Highway 505
Mordechai Ben-Or lives in the town of Rechelim in Samaria with his wife and three children. The town lies near the junctions of Highway 60 and Highway 505.
The highways are both critical access roads each one connecting between towns and villages, both Jewish and Palestinian. Highway 505, in particular, is critical as it connects eastern Samaria and the Jordan Valley to the city of Ariel and later the Tel Aviv metropolitan area. With just one lane in each direction, movement on this mountain pass slows to a crawl whenever a truck tries to transverse its several ascents.
A few days ago, a multi-vehicle accident occurred when not one, but two cars attempted to pass a slow-moving truck. One vehicle pulling out into the left lane was hit, when the second vehicle came from behind it at high speed in an attempt to pass not only the truck but several vehicles backed up behind it. The faster-moving car ricocheted off of the slower moving one then swerved into the left guardrail before pinballing back and swerving into the truck itself. Both vehicles ended up spinning into an approaching vehicle that was coming towards them in the opposing lane.
Four miles away, at his home in the rural community of Rechelim, Mordechai was in the middle of cooking when United Hatzalah’s dispatch alerted him to the accident. Stopping only to turn off the stove, Mordechai darted out to his ambucycle, jumped on and rushed to the scene. Traffic on the winding mountain road had come to a halt in the accident’s wake, but Mordechai was able to skirt by traffic effortlessly thanks to his ambucycle. The experienced EMT quickly triaged the vehicles’ occupants, assessed the severity of the wounds they sustained. Three people suffered only minor bruising, but the driver of one of the cars was semiconscious with injuries to the head, neck, and torso. Mordechai immobilized the patient and kept him conscious as he prepared him for medical transport. Over ten minutes later, an ambulance finally arrived and rushed the patient to a regional hospital for further treatment.
Mordechai reflected on the problematic nature of many of the accidents that he sees in his area. “It always hurts me to see that many of the people I treat at car accidents are drivers or passengers who are not at fault and just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time when other drivers were driving recklessly. In this case, many of the people injured only suffered light injuries but it could have been much worse and it was all due to reckless drivers. It hurts to see these preventable injuries, that many times even result in death.
I would like to thank the organization that gave me my ambucycle. It allows me to arrive at the scenes of accidents and other medical emergencies very quickly. When it comes to narrow one-lane roads such as Highway 505, even ambulances take a long time to arrive due to the heavy traffic that results from accidents. With the ambucycle, I am able to cover large distances quickly and save lives. It is my hope that I won’t ever have to use it, but if there is a need, then I know I can count on it to get me where I need to go quickly.”