Duke of Edinburgh recovering after car crash near Sandringham – national
THE Duke of Edinburgh is recovering after being left ‘very shocked’ and shaken when he walked away from a car crash unhurt.
Philip, 97, was driving a Land Rover Freelander, which flipped on to the driver's side after it was hit by another car when he pulled out of a driveway near the Queen's Sandringham Estate in Norfolk.
The woman driving the other vehicle, a Kia, and her female passenger needed hospital treatment, while a witness said there was also a baby in the car.
Norfolk Police confirmed both drivers were breathalysed and the tests proved negative.
Witness Roy Warne, 75, told The Sun he overheard the Duke tell police he had been ‘dazzled by the sun’.
He said the Land Rover ‘came across the A149 like a somersault. It was turning on its side over and over’.
He added: ‘It was frightening to see a powerful car rolling like that.
‘I rushed to the other car – there was smoke coming out as if it may explode. There was a baby in the back seat, screaming.’
He described how he helped Philip out of the vehicle, adding: ‘He stood up and was unharmed but was obviously very shocked.’
Police would not confirm whether there was a baby in the Kia.
Concerns had previously been raised about road safety on the A149 near Sandringham.
By coincidence, Norfolk County Council is scheduled to meet on Friday to discuss plans to reduce the speed limit on the road from 60mph to 50mph and install safety cameras.
Police said officers were called to the scene of the crash just before 3pm on Thursday after a Land Rover and a Kia were involved in a collision.
‘The male driver of the Land Rover was uninjured. The female driver of the Kia suffered cuts, while the female passenger sustained an arm injury, both requiring hospital treatment,’ the force said.
‘We can confirm both casualties from the Kia have been treated at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn and have since been discharged.
‘The road remained open and both vehicles were recovered a short time later.
‘It is force policy to breath-test drivers involved in collisions. We can confirm both drivers were breath-tested and provided negative readings.’
The crash happened at the Babingley crossroads on a stretch of the A149 which runs between the town of King's Lynn and the north Norfolk coast.
It is single carriageway and has a 60mph speed limit.
A turning off the A149 to the east leads to the village of West Newton, and a private estate road to the west leads past St Felix Chapel, a British Orthodox church.
A wing mirror surrounded by shattered glass and broken plastic was left at the side of the Hunstanton-bound carriageway after the two vehicles were recovered, with tyre tracks across the verge.
A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman confirmed the duke was driving when the accident happened.
She added: ‘He saw a doctor as a precaution and the doctor confirmed he was not injured.’
The spokeswoman would not comment on suggestions that Philip may have been travelling with a passenger, who is likely to have been his close protection officer.
The duke and the Queen, who was informed about the accident, are staying at Sandringham, their residence during their traditional winter break.
Philip, who retired from public duties in the summer of 2017 and last April had a hip replacement operation, is known to remain active.
He was photographed in the summer driving a horse-drawn carriage, although he has given up competing.
But with the Queen's consort in his 98th year there may be calls from some for him to give up motoring.
AA president Edmund King said: ‘Young, predominantly male, drivers are much more likely to crash within six months of passing their test than older drivers within six months of hanging up their keys.
‘Older drivers often self-restrict their driving by not driving at night and only driving on familiar roads.
‘The decision to hang up your keys is a tough one but should be based on personal advice from your GP and family, rather than being based on some arbitrary age.’