Laura Bush defends husband, opens up about car-crash in new book

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New York, Apr 28 (ANI): Former US First Lady Laura Bush has finally gone public about a mysterious car accident she had when she was 17.

The crash took place in Midland, Texas.

In her new book, "Spoken from the Heart," Bush describes in vivid detail the circumstances surrounding the crash, which has haunted her for most of her adult life .

In the book, Ms. Bush also admonishes political adversaries of her husband and former President George Bush for "calling him names".

She pointedly rebuts criticism of some of his key decisions and suggests that his highly criticized fly-over of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina was in the best interests of the victims and aid workers on the ground.

"He did not want one single life to be lost because someone was catering to the logistical requirements of a president," she told The New York Times.

"He did not want his convoy of vehicles to block trucks delivering water or food or medical supplies, or to impede National Guardsmen from around the nation who were arriving to help.", she added.

Bush also suggests, apparently for the first time, that she, Mr. Bush, and several members of their staff may have been poisoned during a visit to Germany for a G8 Summit.

The Secret Service investigated the possibility they were poisoned, she writes, but doctors could only conclude that they all contracted a virus, "we never learned if any other delegations became ill, or if ours, mysteriously, was the only one."

She also bristles at the insults thrown at Mr. Bush by the Democratic leader in the Senate, Harry Reid, quoting him as calling her husband a "loser" and a "liar."

"The comments were uncalled for and graceless," she writes, adding "these particular worlds revealed the petty and parochial nature of some who serve in Congress."

Describing the car accident she says that, on a November night in 1963, Ms. Bush and a girlfriend were hurrying to a drive-in theater when Ms. Bush, at the wheel of her father's Chevy Impala, crossed a stop sign on a small road and smashed into a car being driven by Mike Douglas, a star athlete and popular student at her school.

"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 earth. The whole time, I was praying that the person in the other car was alive.

Bush concedes that she and her friend were chatting when she ran the stop sign. But she also suggests a host of factors beyond her control played a role - the pitch-black road, an unusually dangerous intersection, the small size of the stop sign, and the car the victim was driving.

"It was sporty and sleek, and it was also the car that Ralph Nader made famous in his book Unsafe at Any Speed," she states.

Bush reveals that she was wracked by guilt for years after the crash, especially after not attending the funeral and for not reaching out to the parents of the dead teenager. Her parents did not want her to show up at the funeral, she states, and she ended up sleeping through it.

Bush goes on to say that in her public life, she has encouraged young drivers who have been in serious accidents to speak to loved ones, counsellors or spiritual or pastoral advisers. (ANI)

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