LONDON

Argentina’s Transport Minister Mario Meoni died in a car crash late on Friday night.

The accident occurred when the 56-year-old was driving alone to his home city of Junin, some 270 kilometers (168 miles) west of the capital Buenos Aires, according to local media reports.

His Ford Mondeo overturned when he lost control between the towns of Carmen de Areco and San Andres de Giles on National Route 7.

Meoni, a former mayor of Junin, died on the spot.

Argentine President Alberto Fernandez expressed “great sadness” at his death.

“With him we lose a thorough, tireless and honest politician. An exemplary official,” he said on Twitter, adding that Meoni was “loved and respected.”

Meoni was born in the town of Ascension in the General Arenales district of Buenos Aires province on January 22, 1965.

A self-described family man, he began his political ascendency after the country’s return to democracy in 1983, eventually becoming municipal mayor of Junin and holding the position on several occasions.

In 2016, he became director of the Bank of the Province of Buenos Aires, leaving the post in December 2019 to become Argentina’s transport minister.

He leaves behind his wife, Laura Oliva, and their twin sons, Felipe and Robertino.

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