A close aide to Park Geun-hye, the presidential candidate of the ruling Saenuri Party, died on Sunday in a car accident on the campaign trail in the eastern city of Hongcheon, with five others being injured, police said.
According to the Hongcheon Police Agency, a van carrying six campaign team members skidded on the street and rammed into a telephone poll on a national highway in Hongcheon, Gangwon Province, some 102 kilometers east of Seoul, around noon.
The accident killed the 47-year-old aide Lee Chun-sang, and injured five others, the police said, adding Kim Woo-dong, who is in charge of Park's public relations, still remains unconscious.
"They were driving fast following the car in which Park was riding," Park's camp official Park Jong-hee said. "Lee was confirmed dead, and the remaining five were taken to a nearby hospital for treatment."
Police said an investigation is underway to find the exact cause of the accident.
Upon listening to the news, the candidate canceled her planned schedule and rushed to the hospital, according to officials.
"I am so sorry. I have no words to offer you," a tearful Park told Lee's widowed wife after paying her respect to the aide of 15 years at his funeral hall. The wife told Park that she wishes her the best.