driving News and events

Lessons from a princess

It’s now just over ten years since Princess Diana died. One thing I didn’t mention in my blog post at the time was that when I got home, I found my VCR, which had been set to tape an obscure Sunday morning TV programme (the rather amusing look at the parables of Jesus, Wrestling With The Big One, with Tony Robinson), had picked up a news bulletin of the accident, from before her death had been announced. It’s kind of erie watching it today.

If nothing else, her death should serve as a reminder to always wear your seatbelt.

(I had thought that crash survivor Trevor Rees-Jones, the bodyguard, was wearing his, but apparently not. But crash analysis did conclude that the injuries would have been minor if the car’s occupants had been wearing theirs.)

I’ve only ever been in one car accident. I was a kid, in the back of the babysitter’s car, when it hit the back of a tray truck at low speed outside our flat in Hotham Street. The tray came through the windscreen. No injuries, but shock.

Thankfully that’s all I’ve ever been involved in, with the exception of a minor carpark bump or two. But it still sticks in my mind.

Perhaps it’s one of the reasons I prefer not to travel by car when there are alternatives.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

3 replies on “Lessons from a princess”

funny how we remember where we were the day Diana had the car crash. It’s possibly this generation’s equivalent of “where were you when JFK was shot”.

Yes, very much so Rog. I’m exactly the same age she’d have been, born only 26 days apart. So, I always felt an empathy with her. Saw her a few times in person in Ottawa, and shook her hand once. Just an amazing lady. I can recall it was about 10 pm here, when we heard she was injured, then shortly after that she’d died. I thought “oh her poor sons….” They’re the ones I cried for the most. How much they’d miss their Mum. For her funeral, I watched it all, and cried so hard when I saw the simple circle of white roses with the card for Mummy.

As far as accidents go, I learned my lesson from when a car turned out in front of me, and then I took a trip through the ditch. Goodness that was scary. Then wearing my seatbelt saved my life when I flipped my car on the major highway in Ottawa one wintry, snowy day. Car took flip onto its roof. Thankfully didn’t roll or slide out into traffic! I think God was watching for me that day. Every January 13th I pause for a minute, and say thanks for saving me.

A bit shivers up the spine seeing that. I so clearly recall hearing of her being in a car crash and badly injured, and then as I was driving down the steep hill in Toorak Road before Grange Road, her death.

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