Laura Bush Breaks Silence About Fateful Car Crash

May 4 2010, Published 10:36 a.m. ET

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Former First Lady Laura Bush opened up about one of the most traumatic events in her life -- a car crash that killed her high school pal -- on The Oprah Winfrey Show Tuesday, has learned.

The car crash, which occurred in Midland, Texas in November of 1963, occurred when  Mrs. Bush said she ran a stop sign and fatally struck Mike Douglas, a decorated athlete at her school.  She was 17 at the time of the accident.

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"I wanted to go to the funeral but I could tell my parents didn't want me to go," she said. "You can move on ... but you can never forget."

Bush writes in her memoir that the incident left her with a "guilt she will carry for the rest of her life, far more visible to me than the scar etched in the bump of her knee."

Bush described the mental turmoil her and her family had following the incident.

Oprah Winfrey

"For a long time my mother sort of went through: What if they hadn't moved into that last house that daddy built and I'd gone to the other high school in Midland? Then maybe it wouldn't have happened," she told Oprah. "And I learned then that, you know, what ifs are futile. That what happens is what happened. And there are things that happen that you can't control, that you can't change as much as you would want to -- ever."

Bush will be flanked by her twin daughters Jenna and Barbara, for the appearance . 

Bush's memoir, Spoken from the Heart, hits bookshelves Tuesday.



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