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article imageLaura Bush talks about guilt over car crash which killed a friend

By Laura Trowbridge     Apr 28, 2010 in Politics
Former First Lady Laura Bush has spoken for the first time about causing a car crash in which a high school friend was killed.
Due to be released on May 4, Laura Bush's memoir "Spoken from the Heart" speaks about the 1963 car crash in her hometown of Midland,Texas that claimed the life of a friend when Laura was only seventeen. She said she suffered years of guilt and lost her religious faith over the tragedy.
Laura was driving her father's car, chatting with a girlfriend sitting beside her, and while rushing to a drive-in cinema she ran through a stop sign on a dark country road and hit a car being driven by another friend Mike Douglas, also 17, a star athlete and popular student at her school.
According to The New York Times, Laura wrote in her memoir concerning the accident: "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. Please, God,' over and over and over again."
Laura went on to say: “I lost my faith that November, lost it for many, many years. It was the first time that I had prayed to God for something, begged him for something, not the simple childhood wishing on a star but humbly begging for another human life. And it was as if no one heard. My begging, to my seventeen-year-old mind, had made no difference. The only answer was the sound of Mrs. Douglas’s sobs on the other side of that thin emergency room curtain.”
Mrs Bush said that her guilt over Mike Douglas's death grew even deeper because she never attended his funeral nor contacted his parents, and she said she ultimately dealt with the crash by trying not to talk or think about it.
Other excerpts from the soon-to-be released memoir have her speculating on a visit to Germany for a G8 Summit that she, Mr. Bush, and several members of their staff may have been poisoned during. She said they all became "mysteriously sick", and the president became bedridden. The Secret Service investigated the possibility they had been poisoned, but doctors could only conclude that they had contracted a virus. Mrs. Bush seemed perhaps unconvinced.
Laura Bush also takes aim at some of the former president's congressional critics, specifically Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Reid called Bush a "loser" and a "liar," while Pelosi said he was an "incompetent leader," lacking judgment, knowledge and experience.
Mrs. Bush wrote: “The comments were uncalled for and graceless. While a president’s political opponents, as well as his supporters, are entitled to make what they see as legitimate criticisms, and while our national debates should be spirited, these particular worlds revealed the petty and parochial nature of some who serve in Congress.”
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