Driver in Israel crash that killed 24 Russians jailed for eight years

JERUSALEM Sun Feb 23, 2014 6:39am EST

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JERUSALEM (Reuters) - The driver of a tour bus that crashed in Israel in 2008, killing 24 Russian travel agents, was sentenced to eight years in prison on Sunday, the Justice Ministry said.

The accident occurred near the southern Red Sea resort of Eilat, when the bus, carrying 49 passengers, veered off a desert road and plunged down a ravine. It was one of the worst crashes in Israel.

The Russian travel agents had just arrived in Israel and were en route to Eilat. Fifteen of them were badly injured in the accident.

The driver was convicted in September of manslaughter and was found to have been driving recklessly, when he entered a sharp curve at high speed while trying to overtake another bus, according to a court document provided by the Justice Ministry.

(Writing by Maayan Lubell; Editing by Jeffrey Heller and Alison Williams)

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