The speaker of the legislature in the southern Russian city of Krasnodar died in a car accident Saturday, police reported.
Krasnodar duma speaker Nikolai Kotlyarov was returning from the Azov City special gambling zone where Russia's first casino opened Saturday seven months after all gambling establishments had to close or relocate to four designated areas.
The accident occurred on the Krasnodar-Yeisk highway near the town of Timashevsk.
"The [speaker's] Toyota hit the rear side of a Gazelle van that stood on the roadside," a report by traffic police said.
Kotlyarov, 73, headed the Krasnodar City Duma from September 2004.
An investigation is underway.
Under a 2007 law, which came into force on July 1, 2009, casinos and other gaming establishments can operate only in four far-flung areas - in the Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad, south Siberia's Altai Territory, Primorye in the Far East, and in southern Russia.
KRASNODAR, January 31 (RIA Novosti)