In May 2000, a two-page police report pertaining to a fatal accident that had taken place near Midland, Texas, in 1963 was made public, according to which Laura Bush killed a guy in a car accident.
According to a public police report, Laura Bush (then known as Laura Welch) was involved in a fatal car accident in 1963. According to the report, Laura Welch allegedly had been driving when her car passed a stop sign and struck a sedan driven by 17-year-old named Michael Douglas. No charges were filed as a result of the accident. There was another female teenage passenger in Laura (Bush)Welch’s car.
News reports stated that Michael Douglas died after suffering a broken neck in the car accident with Laura Bush. He was pronounced dead on arrival at Midland Memorial Hospital.
There have been numerous rumors over the years regarding Laura Welch’s conduct at the time and whether she was at fault for the accident. Some have insinuated that Laura Welch was criminally negligent and/or she had been drinking. However, no lawsuits or charges were ever filed. There is no evidence of wrongdoing on her part.
Laura Welch was taken to the hospital after the accident and treated for minor injuries. Michael Douglas was a star athlete at Laura Welch’s high school. According to news reports, he was very popular among his peers.
''It was a very tragic accident that deeply affected the families and was very painful for all involved, including the community at large,'' said Mrs. Bush's spokesman, Andrew Malcolm. ''To this day, Mrs. Bush remains unable to talk about it.''
Laura Bush, asked at a campaign stop about the crash said, ''I know this as an adult, and even more as a parent, it was crushing ... for the family involved and for me as well.''
There had been published accounts of the accident, but city officials had declined to release the records because those involved were under 18. The police report was released in response to an open-records request that was submitted to Midland officials in March.
According to the two-page accident report, Laura (Bush) Welch was driving her Chevrolet sedan on a clear night shortly after 8 p.m. on Nov. 6, 1963, when she drove into an intersection and struck a Corvair sedan driven by 17-year-old Michael Douglas.
Although previous news accounts have reported Douglas was thrown from the car and broke his neck, those details were not in the report.
The speed of Laura Bush's car was illegible on the report. The speed limit for the road was 55.
Laura Bush and her passenger, Judy Dykes, also 17, were taken to a hospital and treated for minor injuries, according to an accident account printed at the time in the Midland Reporter-Telegram.