NPR logo Laura Bush Opens Up About Deadly 1963 Car Crash


Laura Bush Opens Up About Deadly 1963 Car Crash

Laura Bush last October. (Michael Loccisano/Getty Images) hide caption

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Laura Bush last October. (Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

Revealing heart-breaking details about a car accident she caused as a teenager that left another young person dead, former first lady Laura Bush writes in a new book that after the tragedy, "I lost my faith that November, lost it for many, many years," The New York Times reports this morning.

"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," she says, according to the Times.

Bush's new book, Spoken From the Heart, is scheduled for release early in May. It was "obtained by The New York Times at a bookstore," the newspaper says.

During the 2000 presidential campaign, it was revealed that in 1963 — when the future first lady was 17 — she ran a stop sign and struck another vehicle. The driver of that other car, a 17-year-old named Michael Douglas, was killed. Bush has said little about the tragedy until now. The Times says that she writes of being "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."

Other things of interest in the book according to the Times:

— Bush suggests she and her husband may have been poisoned during the 2006 G8 summit in Germany, when many in the U.S. delegation fell ill.

— She defends her husband's decision to fly over New Orleans, instead of landing and going to the scene, in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The president did not want to distract rescue personnel from their missions, she says.