I’m being royally screwed: Prince Philip’s crash victim
Passenger who broke wrist is whining about her treatment from the police and Buckingham Palace
A woman who broke her wrist in a car crash with the Duke of Edinburgh has criticised police for their treatment of her, claiming she has still not been asked for a statement four days later.
Emma Fairweather, 46, was a passenger in a Kia Carens that collided with the duke’s Land Rover on Thursday, and has said she is “very upset” by the treatment she has received from the police and Buckingham Palace.
Claiming she has not even been asked to give a statement detailing what happened, she said she believed she was being treated differently to the duke, who has since been photographed out driving again.
Fairweather has received a message of support from the queen, delivered by a lady-in-waiting via a telephone message while she was away from home, but said of the approach of police and palace: “The support that I was offered initially hasn’t really been the reality for me. I’ve had no opportunity to discuss this in any formal capacity. I need somebody to understand that I still have medical concerns. I’m very worried that I haven’t been asked for a statement from the police. When I contacted the family liaison officer to say I have a number of questions, he hasn’t been prepared to listen to those.”
She added: “There needs to be a decision as to whether Prince Philip and I, whether we’re from the same walk of life or not, either received the same treatment or not. I’m still waiting to give a statement to the police, which I’m shocked by. I just feel like his experience probably hasn’t been the same as mine.”
A Norfolk police spokesperson said: “In any collision investigation our priority is to ensure medical welfare is addressed in the first instance before taking any statement. We can confirm arrangements were made on Friday (January 18) to take a statement from the passenger involved in the collision. This will take place tomorrow (January 22). Further contact was attempted on a number of occasions over the weekend but unfortunately these were not successful.
“Family liaison officers are not normally deployed for collisions of this nature. However, recognising the level of public interest in this case we felt it appropriate to provide additional support. All family liaison officers give advice around handling media attention, and as part of this it is made clear that it is a decision for the individual whether or not to speak to journalists.”
Fairweather was interviewed on ITV’s This Morning, following several interviews with the Daily and Sunday Mirror newspapers. Her friend, the 28-year-old driver of the car Ellie Townsend, has chosen not to speak publicly, understood to be shaken by the experience after fearing for her nine-month-old baby son in the back of the car.
Fairweather claimed she has asked for car insurance details from Townsend “a number of times” in the aftermath of the crash, telling This Morning: “Finally, yesterday afternoon I received a very formal e-mail from her husband to share those details with me.”
Asked what she hoped for from officials, she said: “I think an acknowledgement, not so much any admission of responsibility, but that somebody who would like to talk to me about how difficult this is going to be for me. I’ve had no support. The only support I’ve had is my very immediate family. Neither party [the duke or the second driver] have been forthcoming with very much information.”
Asked about whether she had spoken to the duke immediately after the crash, she said: “Somebody said he did try to but he was advised not to. [But] I don’t think asking if you’re okay is accepting liability.”
The duke was photographed on Saturday driving a replacement Land Rover near to the Sandringham Estate, without wearing a seatbelt. Fairweather said she had been “very upset” after seeing the pictures, adding: “Of course accidents happen, but there needs to be a period of reflection on what could be done differently to prevent the same thing happening again. It was highly insensitive and inconsiderate to me.”
– © The Daily Telegraph