Cruz Ceferino Novillo Astrada, in an image shared on social networks.
A man died on Sunday around five in the morning in Buenos Aires after being hit by a truck on 9 de Julio Avenue, the most important in the Argentine capital. He was 25 years old, living on the street and the police still could not identify him because he did not carry identity documents. The driver did not brake to assist him and fled. Five hours later, he presented himself with his lawyer at a police station. He was identified as Cruz Ceferino Novillo Astrada, 24, son of Eduardo Novillo Astrada, former polo champion and former president of the national polo association, and Ernestina Anchorena, landscaper and heiress of one of the most important landowning families in Argentina.
The circumstances of the incident are still unclear. Police video shows the man crossing the avenue without traffic to the south and starting to cross stretch to the north as some cars drove in front of him. He did not turn to see and took a few steps just off the pedestrian path when the truck rammed him into the first lane. Novillo Astrada ran him over and dragged him for several meters until his body was lying in the middle of the avenue. Traffic continued around him.
Novillo Astrada was arrested after appearing at a police station with his lawyer and was charged with homicide. While the police investigate the incident, the story has captivated the country by the alcurnia of the driver who this Monday was investigated by the Justice. His lawyer, Rafael Cúneo Libarona, has spent much of this Monday attending the local media.
"The driver was coming from a meeting with friends, he braked at the traffic light, in Colorado, and when he gets the green light he starts. The accident occurs 20 meters after the traffic light, in a place where there is no pedestrian path, that is, the pedestrian was not authorized to cross, but suddenly crossed the motorist, who is scared, "he told the Telam agency. In another interview, with the radio station Radio con Vos, he delved into the responsibility of the pedestrian: "This man comes walking from the opposite path, let's say, as if he were a zombie. I don't mean it disparagingly, the image shows it. He could have been hit by cars on their way to the Obelisk, yet he keeps walking."
"There are several reasons why he did not brake," the lawyer justified in the radio interview. According to his defender, Novillo Astrada would have feared an assault and that is why he desisted from braking and assisting the man he had run over. Also, according to the lawyer, the bad memory of the death of his twin brother in another car accident would have affected him at the time of making a decision. Justo Novillo Estrada died in June 2021 after crashing into a bus while driving his car in the province of Buenos Aires.
Justo, his mother said in an interview in May of this year, collided head-on with the bus near a toll booth about 100 kilometers north of Buenos Aires. He was 22 years old. "He had gotten his life's work, which was to be a fly fishing guide in Montana. The next day he was going to the United States," Ernestina Anchorena, a landscaper and cattle rancher, told the newspaper La Nación. Cruz had followed in the footsteps of his father, a polo player who won the Open in 2003 and president of the national association of Argentina's favorite cattle sport until mid-2021.
Cruz Novillo Astrada began playing polo in La Aguada, the country house of his paternal family, 80 kilometers from Buenos Aires. In June he had been part of a winning team of the Royal Windsor Cup, one of the most traditional and oldest tournaments in England. He now awaits the resolution of his judicial process, which the judge has allowed him to remain free.
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