SIDON, Lebanon: An Army soldier and a jogger were killed early Friday on the Sidon highway after a car crashed into a van dispensing coffee on the road under the Ghazieh Bridge.
The initial crash led to a chain of accidents as four motorists lost control of their vehicles, with one fatally hitting jogger Mahmoud Kawtharani, in his 60s, and an Army soldier, identified as Hasan Abdel-Qader, who was standing next to a military jeep.
The owner of the van, identified as Rami Gharib, was severely injured in the crash, according to security sources. The Mercedes-Benz that caused the pileup of collisions had to be cut open to rescue the driver, Mustafa Shaar.
Security sources said the string of 6 a.m. accidents injured a total of five people, including Mustafa Habli, the driver of a pickup truck that was flipped on to its side in the middle of the highway.
Lebanese Red Cross and Civil Defense teams were dispatched to the scene and the injured were rushed to nearby hospitals.
In a separate incident on the Kfar Jarra road in Jezzine, a car crash injured three young men who were rushed to Sidon Public Hospital, while an unidentified man was killed in another car accident on the Mosaileh road and rushed to Rai Medical Center in Sidon.
At least five people have lost their lives in car accidents this month in the districts of Sidon and Zahrani alone.
Two young people were killed in an accident that also left three injured on Feb. 9. One of them, Mahmoud Baasiri, 19, was killed after the vehicle he was driving slid off the road and crashed into a palm tree. The accident also took the life of passenger Rayan Hadari, 18, while her 9-year-old sister Jana and two men, Mohammad Kibish and Shahir Shaalan, were severely injured.