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ARGENTINA | 17-09-2018 10:22

Former Córdoba province governor De La Sota dies in dramatic car crash

José Manuel de la Sota was 68-years-old. A stalwart of the Peronist movement, he had been governor of Córdoba province, ambassador to Brazil, and a national Senator and lawmaker for Córdoba province.

The former governor of Córdoba province, José Manuel de la Sota, died on Saturday night when the vehicle he was driving crashed into the rear of a truck on a road connecting Córdoba capital with the city of Río Cuarto.

The car crash is being investigated by Córdoba police, with suspicions de la Sota was driving well over the speed limit of 130 kilometres per hour. 

The accident happened at around 8pm on Saturday evening on Route 36 between Córdoba capital and Río Cuarto. The driver of the truck, a 35-year-old man, is "stable" in hospital, local authorities reported.

POSSIBLE FATIGUE

"He was very tired," de la Sota's hairdresser told reporters on Sunday. She had cut his hair earlier in the day.

"He came at lunchtime and left at 3.30pm. He was in a rush because it was his daughter Natalia's birthday. He was falling asleep, he was very tired", she told Radio Mitre.

An autopsy had been carried out on de la Sota's body, judicial authorities confirmed.

Leaked information suggests he died of a "serious trauma to his skull, compatible with his driving at high speeds of his vehicle". He died "instantly", the autopsy will suggest.

WAKE

The wake for the former Córdoba province governor was held on Sunday at the Córdoba Civic Centre in the capital.

Dissident Peronist Sergio Massa and members of the Renewal Front movement he leads attended the event en masse to honour de la Sota, a stalwart of the Peronist movement who had long supported Massa's political ambitions.

Rumours circulated on Sunday that de la Sota himself had planned to run for president in 2019 against Mauricio Macri.

In a career spending more than 40 years, de la Sota had been governor of Córdoba province, ambassador to Brazil, and a national Senator and lawmaker for his province.

TRIBUTES

Political figures across the aisle paid tribute to de la Sota, after news of his death became public.

"Shocked by the death of the former governor of Córdoba José Manuel de la Sota in a tragic car accident. My condolences to his entire family," President Mauricio Macri said in a message posted on social networks.

Former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, now a sitting senator for Buenos Aires Proince, said she was "very shocked by the sad news."

"My condolences to his family and to his companions and friends," she wrote on Twitter.

-TIMES/PERFIL

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