Horrified witnesses have posted the harrowing pictures online showing a towering plume of smoke after the car burst into flames following the smash just outside Seville on the A.376 highway, near the Arsenal star’s hometown Utrera. Pictures posted on social media site Twitter show the underside of a car in a ditch besides a road, which is believed to be the car Reyes was travelling in.
Meanwhile, further pictures show the mangled wreckage of the car being removed from the scene of the crash by a tow truck.
Jose Antonio Reyes has been described as a “wonderful player, superb team mate and exceptional human being” after the 35-year-old died in a car crash.
Reyes’ former club Sevilla announced on Saturday the Spanish winger had died in a car crash at 11.40am (local time), Spanish TV channel Deportes Cex reported.
His cousin Jonathan Reyes, 23, is also thought to have died in the crash, while another passenger is in a serious condition in hospital with burns to 60 percent of their body.
The City Council of the Sevillian town of Utrera has announced two days of mourning.
Reyes joined Arsenal in January 2004 and helped the club complete their unbeaten league campaign for the remainder of that season, as well as contributing to the club’s run to the Champions League final in 2006.
Commenting on the tragic news, the Gunners tweeted: “Everyone at Arsenal is devastated by the shocking news that our former player Jose Antonio Reyes has died in a traffic collision in Spain.”
Arsene Wenger, who signed Reyes for Arsenal told the club on Saturday: “I am devastated to hear the terrible news about Jose.
“To his family and friends, all support from everyone in the Arsenal family. He will remain forever in our hearts.”
Other former Arsenal colleagues in the form of Freddie Ljungberg, Ray Parlour, Robert Pires and Abou Diaby also shared tributes on social media too, along with current Gunners boss Unai Emery.
Ljungberg said he was “numbed by the news” about his former teammate, while Parlour described the former Spain international as a “great talent”.
Emery tweeted his condolences in Spanish that translated as: “Deeply sad and speechless after learning of this tragic news. I’ll never forget your magic and your smile Jose, never. It was an honour to be by your side…a strong hug and all the spirit of the world to family, friends and clubs he represented. RIP friend.”
Arsenal’s north London rivals Tottenham, meanwhile, paid their respects, tweeting: “All of our thoughts are with Jose’s friends and family, and everyone at Arsenal at this very difficult time.”
Arsenal fans the world over mourned the news of Reyes’ passing, with @gunnerblog leading the fan reaction online.
He tweeted: “This is such desperately sad news.:
Reyes left Arsenal to join Real Madrid on loan in La Liga before winning five Europa League titles with Atletico Madrid and Sevilla.
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