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Former Nationals minor leaguer killed in car accident in Dominican Republic

Nationals Manager Dusty Baker talks with Braulio Lara as he is pulled from a spring training game in 2017. (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

Braulio Lara, a former pitcher in the Washington Nationals’ farm system, was killed in a car crash in the Dominican Republic on Saturday, according to a tweet by the Bowling Green Hot Rods, a minor league affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays.

The 30-year-old was driving a white Chevrolet Camaro on Saturday morning near his hometown of Bani when a Ford Mustang traveling in the opposite direction collided with his vehicle, according to Diario Libre, a Dominican newspaper. Lara was killed in the wreck, along with another person. Four people reportedly were injured. The cause of the crash is not yet known.

Lara, a left-hander, joined the Rays’ minor league system in 2008 and spent time on San Francisco Giants farm teams as well before joining the Nationals’ system in 2017. He played for Class AA Harrisburg that year, his only season with the organization. He also pitched in South Korea and Mexico.

The Dominican Republic is one of the most dangerous countries in the world in which to drive. In 2015, the World Health Organization ranked it as the deadliest in the Western Hemisphere, with 29.3 auto accident fatalities annually per 100,000 residents. The WHO rated the country a “2” on a scale of 1 to 10 in terms of enforcement of drunken-driving laws and a “3” for enforcement of speeding laws.

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