69-year-old man dies after head-on car crash last week with rally great Ogier in Poland

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — A 69-year-old Polish man has died less than a week after he was involved in a head-on car crash with eight-time world rally champion Sébastien Ogier, local police said Monday.

The man had been released from the hospital without major injuries following the accident and police spokeswoman Marta Domanska said an autopsy will be performed Tuesday to determine whether the death was linked to the crash.

Ogier had been preparing for a race in Poland when the crash happened June 25 near the village of Wlosty in northeastern Poland. The French rally driver and the Polish man were airlifted to a hospital while Ogier’s co-driver Vincent Landais and the 67-year-old passenger from the other car were taken by ambulance. All four were complaining of back pain, but were conscious, authorities said.

Medical tests did not show any major injuries and all four were released home last week.

Domanska told Polish news agency PAP that the Polish man, whose name was not released, felt unwell at home during hot weather Sunday and an ambulance was called by his daughter.

“Because there was extremely hot weather on Sunday and some days have passed since the crash, we don’t know if the two occurrences can be linked or not. An authopsy is expected to provide an answer,” Domanska said.

She said that experts were investigating the crash site. No one has been charged so far.

Ogier and Landais pulled out of the Rally Poland race, with their replacements Kalle Rovanpera and Jonne Halttunen winning the event that was held Thursday through Sunday in a rural area in Poland’s northeast, not far from the border with Russia’s Kaliningrad exclave.

Ogier is one of the greatest rally drivers in history. He won six straight world titles from 2013-18. His most recent was in 2021.

Ogier has won 60 rallies, second all-time to countryman Sebastien Loeb’s 80.

Driving part-time in the world rally championship this year, he won the Croatia Rally in April and the Portugal Rally in May. Poland was hosting its first WRC event in seven years, and Ogier has won here twice.


AP auto racing: https://apnews.com/hub/auto-racing

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