|Laura Welch became Mrs. Bush in 1977|
On the night of November 6, 1963, the seventeen-year-old Laura Welch's life changed forever when she ran a stop sign in her father's Chevy Impala and killed her good friend*, Michael Dutton Douglas, who was driving another vehicle. Welch and a girlfriend were chatting in their car as they rushed to a drive-in movie when the accident occurred.
In her 2010 autobiography, Spoken From the Heart, Mrs. Bush finally discussed the troubling incident in detail:
In those awful seconds, the car door must have been flung open by the impact and my body rose in the air until gravity took over and I was pulled, hard and fast, back to the earth...The whole time I was praying that the person in the other car was alive. In my mind, I was calling 'Please, God. Please God,' over and over again.
|Accident report released in 2000 - click to enlarge|
In her book, Mrs. Bush reveals that she was consumed with guilt for many years, particularly after missing her friend's funeral--her parents did not want her to attend and she wound up sleeping late the day of ceremony.
The former first lady also writes of some external factors to the accident in an apparent effort to mitigate her culpability. She states that the intersection was quite dark, the stop sign was "small" and that the other automobile in the accident was the notoriously "unsafe at any speed" Corvair. She then invokes Ralph Nader's crusade against the car without noting the irony that it was Nader's third party candidacy in the 2000 election that helped elect her husband president.Relative of Local People Dies In WreckMike Douglas, 17, formerly of San Benito, died last night of injuries suffered a short time earlier when his car and another collided on the north edge of Midland.Funeral arrangements are incomplete.The son of Mr. and Mrs. W.T. Douglas of Midland, he had several aunts and an uncle living in Corpus Christi.His father was behind him in another car. Mike was on his way to the home of a sister, Mrs. Joe Sims of Midland, to babysit for her. Injured in the other vehicle were Laura Welch and Judy Dykes, both of Midland, who were treated at a hospital and released.-- Excerpted from the Corpus Christi (Texas) Times, page 36, November 7, 1963
Mrs. Bush also uses her book to try and exonerate W. for his bungling of Hurricane Katrina which caused over 1,500 deaths. And they said the Clintons were deadly...