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Venezuela governor missing after crash

By Gustavo Valdes, CNN
  • Willian Lara's vehicle rolled into a river Friday
  • His rescued driver said he pulled Lara out, but he was then swept away
  • There were heavy rains at the time of the crash

(CNN) -- A Venezuelan governor and former minister of communications was missing Saturday after a car accident.

Willian Lara's vehicle rolled off a highway and into a river Friday afternoon, according to the state TV network VTV.

Lara's driver was rescued and told investigators he was able to pull the governor out of the wrecked vehicle, but then Lara was swept away by the rising river, VTV reported. There were heavy rains at the time of the accident, the Venezualan state-run news agency ABN reported.

The accident happened near the city of San Juan Los Morro, some 80 miles south of Caracas.

Lara served as minister of communications from 2006 to 2008 before being elected governor of the state of Guarica.

President Hugo Chavez said during a televised event Friday night that he was made aware of the accident but lacked more details. He said he wished for Lara to be found safe.