October 10th, 2007
10:21 AM ET
11 years ago

Michelle Obama's campaign van in car accident

Mrs. Obama was on her way to a campaign event when the accident happened.

(CNN) - Michelle Obama, the wife of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, escaped injury Tuesday when her campaign van was involved in an accident in Hampton, Iowa. A motorcyclist who struck the van was injured.

The accident happened as she was en route to a campaign stop. A motorcycle collided with the van on U.S. Highway 65 in the central part of the state.

The Obama campaign said in a statement, "The motorcyclist was transported to a nearby hospital, and Barack and Michelle's thoughts and prayers are with him and his family at this time. Neither Mrs. Obama nor any members of the campaign staff were injured in the accident."

Police identified the motorcyclist as Timothy Scott Emerson, 41, of Iowa Falls, Iowa. He was taken by medical helicopter to Mercy Medical North Hospital, where a nursing supervisor said he was treated and released.

A report from the Hampton Police Department said the van carrying Michelle Obama was trying to make a left turn when it was struck. The motorcycle, which was three vehicles behind the campaign van, attempted to pass and struck the left side of the van, the report said, while traveling on the wrong side of the road.

The campaign event she was headed to was canceled.

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- CNN's Steve Brusk, Devon Sayers and Chris Welch contributed to this report

Filed under: Iowa • Michelle Obama
soundoff (105 Responses)
  1. Ahmad Kazim, Philly, PA

    This is why Barak HUSSEIN Obama's wife should wear a veil and not drive – as it is written in their religious book the Holy Koran

    October 9, 2007 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  2. sonya, atlanta, ga

    You and the motorcyle driver are in my prayers. I hope he is alright and am glad that Michelle is ok.

    October 9, 2007 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  3. West Hollywood, California

    Maybe John Edwards will want to represent her if she decides to file an injury claim with the auto insursance company 🙂

    October 9, 2007 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  4. Sarah

    I am thankful that you and the staff were not hurt, and that the motorcyclist will be OK as well.

    We are so glad that you are out on the campaign trail Michelle!

    Obama 2008

    October 9, 2007 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  5. providence, RI

    Michelle Obama does not look like a first lady- she does not have that materials in her. However, I wish him (motorcylist) best of luck. It's a sign-GOD blocked her from campaigning.

    October 9, 2007 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  6. Christian, Tampa FL

    Well, let's hope the motorcyclist is all right... Good thing it wasn't more serious.

    October 9, 2007 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  7. Mike, Milwaukee, WI

    "Michelle Obama does not look like a first lady"


    Oh I get it! Perhaps this is due to the fact that other first ladies have been white women. Is that apart of the criteria for First Lady...to be white? People like you need to get a clue my friend.

    October 9, 2007 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  8. Leila, Long Beach, CA

    Ahmad Kazim,

    Lets get the facts straight:

    Obama is NOT Muslim.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with being Muslim. Muslims are a peaceful people. Except for the extremists (but, of course, every religion has extremists).

    But, again, lets please get the facts STRAIGHT.

    October 9, 2007 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  9. Leila, Long Beach, Ca


    Your comment is despicable and shameful.

    Intelligent Americans do not vote for or judge people based on what they "look like." They vote for candidates–including 1st lady–based on their character, vision, and judgement.

    And to suggest GOD caused the accident to block her from campaigning is very disgusting on your part.

    October 9, 2007 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  10. Bradley Schaubs, Greeley, CO

    This is why Barak HUSSEIN Obama's wife should wear a veil and not drive – as it is written in their religious book the Holy Koran
    Posted By Ahmad Kazim, Philly, PA : October 9, 2007 8:36 pm

    This kind of ignorance never ceases to surprise me. I thought it was clearly stated in the constitution that anyone can run for president regardless of religion? And for Christ's sake, stop calling Obama and his family Muslims. He CHOSE to be CHRISTIAN. And even if he accepted Mohammad (which, I'll say again, he DIDN'T), I don't think it was in Mohammad's interest to pursue violence. Would people PLEASE, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, STOP ASSOCIATING ISLAM WITH RADICALS AND TERRORISTS?! It's people like you that give Arabs the impression we're waging this war because we're "antisimetic" against Muslims! In short: you preached not to combine religion and state, so shut up about it!

    I am sad to hear about this accident, but am glad nobody was killed or seriously injured. It was foolish of the cyclist to try to cut traffic – that's why there are so many people with road rage these days. Pray for the cyclist, Mrs. Obama, and the future of our nation.

    Obama '08

    October 9, 2007 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
  11. Christopher, Orange County, CA

    "Michelle Obama does not look like a first lady- she does not have that materials in her. However, I wish him (motorcylist) best of luck. It's a sign-GOD blocked her from campaigning."

    So, Providence, just who does God support in campaign '08? hahaha

    what a tool

    October 10, 2007 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  12. Robert, Shelton CT

    They are Christian who said they were Muslim...thats propaganda..I hope the motorcyclist is ok though, and they were right to cancel the event. (I'm not an Obama fan, but still)

    October 10, 2007 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  13. Better Informed, Scottsdale, AZ

    What? Michelle Obama doesn't look like a first lady? You mean because she's not lily white? Dude, grow a brain then grow up! The world is a changin'.

    October 10, 2007 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  14. a person sorry to see the U.S. Slip away

    Gee It is amazing to me how many politicians caravans are are involved in wrecks, is it because they have one agenda? to get to where they are going and ignore all laws and posted signs and drive safely, A BIG YES, but then again they will blame the poor ole common citizen for getting in the way of much greater good and their agenda and haste to get to the next stop and suck in a few more votes from people who actually believe they are for the common man. Who the hell is she anyway, the way I look at it is a Damn shame the wrong person got injured

    October 10, 2007 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  15. Don, Lakeforest, CA

    I could see your headline if it was a republican candidate’s van…”Motorcyclist nearly killed as Giuliani’s motorcade recklessly plows into him”

    October 10, 2007 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
  16. Jack Williams Jamaica NY

    The comment from Providence RI was right. Michelle does not look like nor have the manner of a First Lady.
    Look at the photo...you've seen that face full of AT-TEE-TUDE in every supermarket and PTA meeting in America. Get back in the van and go home.

    October 10, 2007 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  17. Dennis, Los Angeles, CA

    God speed Mrs Obama and the motorcyclist – and you look so cool, cetainly the most intelligent and most beautiful first lady ever!!!

    October 10, 2007 01:50 am at 1:50 am |
  18. deroy W. palm, FL

    a publicity stunt when you are losing.

    October 10, 2007 02:18 am at 2:18 am |
  19. Catherine Saint Paul MN

    This is why Barak HUSSEIN Obama's wife should wear a veil and not drive – as it is written in their religious book the Holy Koran

    Posted By Ahmad Kazim, Philly, PA : October 9, 2007 8:36 pm

    Michelle Obama does not look like a first lady- she does not have that materials in her. However, I wish him (motorcylist) best of luck. It's a sign-GOD blocked her from campaigning.

    Posted By providence, RI : October 9, 2007 10:02 pm


    1. I doubt she was driving.
    2. A sign from God? Please, if your "God" is so good and kind why would he try and HURT someone. After all YOUR "God" Forgives sin Right?

    Trust me God isn't into Politics! If he was he would have many many others to toss lightening bolts at LONG before Mrs. Obama.

    By the way my God..., would never intentionally hurt or try to hurt anyone. Even for the greater good. All are equal.

    October 10, 2007 02:34 am at 2:34 am |
  20. Steven, South Orange NJ

    Wow I cannot believe that the CNN moderators let comments like the first one about this accident be posted.

    First off you do not know that Michelle Obama was driving and secondly... Barack and his wife are CHRISTIANS not MUSLIMS. He is a member of the UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST. A sect of the Christian religion which could easily be considered the most liberal out of all the sects.

    So next time you wish to post something negative make sure you at least post something that makes sense and isn't blatantly racist towards muslims. Which if you knew anything at all you would know that Sen. Obama and Michelle are not. I could say that your name looks muslim and make racist comments not knowing you at all but I feel it is not an informed or proper way of going about things. So good day and I hope you find it useful in the future to pick up a book or learn from a news source other than Fox News which most likely fed you this misinformation.

    October 10, 2007 02:57 am at 2:57 am |
  21. Sam, IA

    I'm glad to hear the motorcyclist will be allright. Please ignore the childish ramblings of the hate radio sect.

    October 10, 2007 03:43 am at 3:43 am |
  22. Axel, RKDA, California

    I would like to make three points here, if I may...

    1: I would bet Michelle Obama was Not driving this "campaign van".

    2: Yes, this story is news, but just because it is a story about a accident involving a presidential campaign's van doesn't make it "political" news.

    3: While I feel for the lady for having been in an accident and all, I still have no plans to vote for her husband. I still do not believe that he can win the Democratic Party's nomination, much less win the general election if he did, because I do not consider him to be qualified to be President of the United States.

    October 10, 2007 04:20 am at 4:20 am |
  23. A,


    First off, the Obamas belong to the United Church of Christ and are NOT Muslim. The fact that you were aware of his middle name probably is indicitive of the fact that you've done some research so either you have been too lazy to research his religion and prefer to jump to conclusions or you are just a fan of spreading lies on the internet.

    Second, Michelle wasn't driving.

    October 10, 2007 04:33 am at 4:33 am |
  24. Anonymous

    Thank God she's okay. For a minute there when I saw the headline I freaked out. Take a bus woman, you're too damn important to the future of this country to go driving around.

    Seriously, I was freaked. Obama needs to have his head in the game, not worried about accidents.


    October 10, 2007 05:07 am at 5:07 am |
  25. Jen, Washington, D.C.

    "This is why Barak HUSSEIN Obama's wife should wear a veil and not drive – as it is written in their religious book the Holy Koran"

    Hmm, the last time I checked we weren't in a strict Muslim country. She has every right to drive in this country, if she so wishes. However, I would imagine that she wasn't driving at all but that a staff person was, not to mention it was a MAN who was driving on the wrong side of the road, around three vehicles, when HE struck the van she was in.

    Mrs. Obama, I'm happy to hear that you and the staff members, as well as the motorcycle driver, are ok.

    October 10, 2007 05:23 am at 5:23 am |
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