Prince Philip involved in vehicle crash near Sandringham, palace confirms

Prince Philip The Duke of Edinburgh and Lady Penny

Britain's lack of an upper age limit for driving was in the spotlight on Friday (Jan 18) as 97-year-old Prince Philip recovered after being involved in an accident that flipped his vehicle.

The palace said the two-car accident happened Thursday afternoon near Sandringham Estate, the Queen's country retreat in eastern England.

Buckingham Palace confirmed the 97-year-old was behind the wheel of the vehicle when it was involved in the accident with another auto.

"I was driving home and I saw a vehicle, a black (Land) Rover come out from a side road and it rolled", witness Roy Warne told BBC Radio on Friday.

Warne said he helped free a baby from the second auto, a Kia, before helping the prince out of his vehicle, which was lying on its side. He was conscious but very shocked and shaken.

The duke appeared to be travelling without a police protection officer, individuals who guard all senior members of the Royal Family when at public and private events.

Although not everyone has worded it quite as strongly as Burke, Philip's crash has sparked a debate about elderly people driving - with some people suggesting that once motorists hit a certain age, they should give up driving or have to carry out a re-test.

The prince was checked by a doctor after the accident and determined to be fine, Buckingham Palace said. The palace also reported that the Queen's husband is back at home and has seen doctors as a precaution.

An eye-witness contacted the Lynn News soon afterwards to say there were five police cars close to the West Newton turning, with officers combing the undergrowth.

"Many commentators use high-profile vehicle crashes involving elderly drivers as a reason to call for bans or restrictions on older drivers", Edmund King, president of the UK's Automobile Association, told the Telegraph.

Norfolk Police were called to the scene of the collision and breathalysed both the duke and the driver of the Kia.

There is no upper age limit for driving in Britain, although drivers 70 and over are required to renew their licenses every three years and notify authorities if they have suffered from ailments like strokes, epilepsy or glaucoma.

Theresa May has offered her support to the duke following the accident.

"It is force policy to breath-test drivers involved in collisions".

Warne, 75, had been driving with his wife along highway A149 near Sandringham, the Queen's estate, when he came upon the collision.

Even after his retirement from public life in 2017, after completing some 22,000 solo engagements in six decades, he maintained a busy schedule.



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