Photo: Scene of the accident
The truck driver involved in the accident that killed three of Pope Francis’s relatives was charged with aggravated manslaughter on Wednesday by a prosecutor in Argentina, judicial officials said.
Raul Pombo was charged by prosecutor Monica Biandrate so he can prepare his case and “fully exercise the right to a defense, which is constitutionally the most important,” spokesmen for the prosecutor’s office in Oliva, a city in Cordoba province, said.
“This is the time in the investigation when the technical skills are decisive” and the prosecutor is “charging him so he and his attorney can participate” in the process and later state “what the facts are from his point of view,” the judicial officials said.
Pombo was charged with aggravated manslaughter because of the number of victims in the accident, but it does not mean that the truck driver “is being considered responsible” for the crash or will spend time in prison, the prosecutor’s office spokesmen said.
Emanuel Horacio Bergoglio, the pope’s nephew, and his family were involved in an accident early Tuesday.
The family’s automobile collided with a truck that was ahead of them on a highway in Cordoba province, killing Bergoglio’s wife, Valeria Carmona, 36, and his sons, Jose and Antonio.
The accident occurred in the early morning hours at kilometer 594 of the highway that links the cities of Rosario and Cordoba, located in central Argentina, near the town of Villa Maria.
The Bergoglio family was returning to its Buenos Aires residence after a vacation.
Emanuel Horacio Bergoglio is the son of one of Pope Francis’s brothers.
Pope Francis was informed of the accident and was deeply saddened to hear of the deaths of his relatives, Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said Tuesday.