Israel Defense Forces Cpl. Dor Jan, 19, from Rishon Lezion, was killed Friday afternoon when a military vehicle overturned near Israel's border with Syria, in the Golan Heights, between Kibbutz Ein Zivan and the village of Alonei Habashan.
An investigation into the incident revealed that the Humvee in which Jan was traveling had been routinely patrolling the border when it suddenly flipped over.
Three Artillery Corps soldiers who were riding in the vehicle together with Jan were injured. Jan was critically injured and was later pronounced dead by a team of Magen David Adom emergency health technicians. Several rescue teams were sent to the scene of the accident, including two helicopters from the 669th Rescue Unit of the Israel Air Force.
Firefighters from the Golan and Upper Galilee had to saw the vehicle open in order to pull the injured soldiers out. Two soldiers, who were moderately to seriously hurt, were flown to Haifa's Rambam Hospital. The fourth soldier, who was lightly injured, was transferred to the Poriya Hospital in Tiberias.
The investigation into the accident was assigned to the Military Police. The IDF believes the driver of the Humvee lost control of the vehicle after driving at a speed that was unsuitable given the condition of the roads in the area.
A senior IDF officer familiar with the case said, "The Humvee can withstand much harsher road conditions than the ones at the scene, and from this we conclude that the driver may have been traveling at a speed that did not correspond with the road conditions and at some point lost control."
Another possibility being investigated is that the vehicle flipped because of damage in the road. The route along the Israel-Syria border is laden with potholes and is particularly narrow. "Driving down the road could be life-threatening," a soldier who recently completed his military service in the area said. "It's fit for pasture more than for driving."
Dozens of people gathered over weekend at the home of Aviva and Daniel Jan, Dor's parents, in Rishon Lezion, after having learned of his death. Jan is survived by his parents, two brothers and a sister. Among those who arrived to express their condolences were friends from his high school, Makif Gimel, from which he graduated last summer.
Elad, a close friend of Jan's, said, "This just can't be digested. Dor was a special kid; he never did anything bad to anyone."
Other friends recounted that Jan could have enrolled in a special army program which defers military service until after completion of an academic degree. Instead he opted to enlist in a combat unit, like his cousin, Yiftah Barzilai, who was also killed in a car accident near Modiin six years ago.
"Dor was planning to study medicine through the program. But he gave up on it because all he wanted was to be in a combat unit," one friend said.