BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Three relatives of Pope Francis died and a fourth was in serious condition Tuesday after their car crashed on a provincial highway in Argentina, the Vatican and local officials said.
The small car carrying a nephew of the pope along with the man's wife and two young children slammed into the back of a truck, Highway Police Superintendent Jorge Raineri said. The crash killed the wife and children, one 2 years old and the other 8 months.
The passenger side of the car was smashed and crumpled beneath the cargo truck.
Emanuel Bergoglio, the 38-year-old son of a brother of Pope Francis, was hospitalized. He suffered extensive injuries and was in serious condition in the hours after the pre-dawn crash, Ignacio Bruno, an assistant director of the hospital in the town of Villa Maria, told Todo Noticias television.
The man's 36-year-old wife, Valeria Carmona, and youngest child, Jose, died in the accident. Two-year-old Antonio died at the hospital, Bruno said.
The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said: "The pope was informed about the tragic accident. He is profoundly saddened." He added that the pope asks "all who share in his grief to unite with him in prayer."
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