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.

Click here to see CNN's new political portal: CNNPolitics.com

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

Filed under: Iowa • Michelle Obama
soundoff (105 Responses)
  1. Al, NY NY

    Anyone who says she doesn't look like a first lady...

    does the chimp currently sitting in teh White House look Presidential?

    October 10, 2007 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  2. Franco

    Mrs. Obama runs over biker.
    Gotta love how the media spin has the biker hitting her!

    October 10, 2007 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  3. Karen Planalp, Saint Joseph, Missouri

    RELIGION and RACE are non-factors! If you are a registered voter and plan to vote, then follow the laws of this United States. In 1964 Congress passed Public Law 82-352 (78 Stat. 241). The provisions of this civil rights act forbade discrimination on the basis of sex as well as race in hiring, promoting, and firing. In the final legislation, Section 703 (a) made it unlawful for an employer to "fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions or privileges or employment, because of such individual's race, color, religion, sex, or national origin." When registered voters cast their ballot, they essentially, are employing the elected candidate for the position.

    October 10, 2007 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  4. anon, ottawa, OH

    Truth hurts. Hussein Obama could be a muslim, for the reasons I listed earlier.

    As an alledged christian, he could not even quote the bible right when he said he was like Joshua (should be Mosses).

    I can see his supporters are angry without providing proof otherwise, although I said earlier that religion is not the only factor for qualifications to be the next president. Obama's resume is simply a few pages shorter than Hillary.

    He is a rookie politician, with his speech performance up in one town hall and down in another townhall. He is an inexperienced politician without substance. If he were white, there are lots of politicians better than him in washington dc.

    October 10, 2007 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  5. Kate, Aurora CO

    Some of these comments are so full of hate. It is just so sad that in 2007 some of us are still obsessed with race and are so ignorant. I won't vote for Obama not because of his race, I would love to see America led by someone other than a rich white old man, but because I do not agree with his politics. Same with Hilary. I would love to see a woman in that position but again I do not agree with her politics. I was hopeful for the future of our country when both a black man and woman are in the race towards the presidency but then I read comments like these and it makes me realize many people in this country are still ignorant and full of hate. I pity your children.

    October 10, 2007 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  6. Dave, Atlanta, GA

    I don't know whether I'm more concerned that this is the news, or that this article now has 60 comments. I got stuck in traffic on the way to work. Do I get an article in the ticker? Or do I have to run for office first?

    October 10, 2007 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  7. Josh Maloney, Oakland, CA

    The critical statements made about Michelle Obama only serve one purpse – to show how ignorant the people are who are making those comments. Michelle Obama is an inspiration.

    October 10, 2007 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  8. Leila, Long Beach, CA

    For all you manipulating folks who are spinning the story:

    "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."

    Did you READ the freakin' article?!? The FACTS are right in your face.

    Mrs. Obama was NOT driving, it was NOT the van's fault (as stated by police), and the Obamas DID CARE (they canceled their event).

    Enough is enough.

    October 10, 2007 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  9. Donnal L

    CNN is not removing racist comments - they only remove comments that point out how they are provide a platform for racists. This is not about free speech. CNN loves this hate spew because it brings them more blog traffic. Its unfair to Michelle Obama and extremely unhealthy for our country.

    If you are going to censor my comments, please post your comment policy.

    October 10, 2007 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  10. Pat, Huntington, NY

    Tom Dedham, Mass: I only wrote my comment because this was such non-news having nothing to do with hillary, that I could imagine hysterical hillary haters like you somehow spinning it to satisfy your own baseless anti-hillary agendas. Thanks for proving my point.

    October 10, 2007 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  11. Tom - Dedham, Mass

    So anyone responding to your dumb comment, would be bringing up Hillary?

    I even wrote that of course this accident was just an "accident".

    Do you support anon, providence and Kyu, Hillary supporters all, on their totally racists comments on Michelle Obama?

    I don't, and I am a mean "hillary hating Republican" who happens to love Michelle Obama for being strong and "real".

    October 10, 2007 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  12. Eric Steinback, Chicago IL

    Two important questions:
    1. Who was driving the van?
    2. Was the driver using their left turn signal?

    As a motorcyclist I am always careful when passing cars that are slowing down. All motorcyclists are, as we are constantly reminded how stupid and selfishly most people drive.

    I do not believe a motorcyclist would have missed the turn signal or proceeded to pass if it had been on.

    This leads me to conclude that the Obama Campaign does not believe they are subject to the same rules of the road as the rest of us. I know another group like this, they're called bad cops.

    I expect a fully apology from the Obama campaign, an acknowledgment of guilt and a commitment to send whoever was driving to driver education again – or my vote has just been lost. Barrack says he wants to bring integrity back to politics, well let's here the whole story folks.

    October 10, 2007 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  13. Bryan, Cherokee, Iowa

    You republicans are a joke!!!! I'm a Hillary person but to say Micelle Obama doesn't look like what a First Lady should look like come on. It was a traffic accident people could have died. Where is the compassion, you compassionate republicans.

    October 10, 2007 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  14. RA The Framing Wizard LV, NV

    Maybe this a sign that she should just give up on her efforts for her husbands nomination; go ahead and jut get out too celebrate and have a couple of glasses of Quats. Liquid fungicides that attack decay organisms. The quat preserve is used in swimming pool chemicals, shampoos, hospital mop washes, and many other human contact applications.

    October 10, 2007 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  15. Abdul Kane, Stroudsburg,Pa

    In what sura does it say that you women should be veiled and not drive mr.Kazim? because i happen to be muslim and i have read the Koran the only explanation would have to be you ignorance...

    October 10, 2007 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  16. Scott, California

    wow, That is honestly news to me. If you need any info on web reviews, and reviews of top products like affiliate programs, check out my blog. Its all free

    October 10, 2007 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  17. Dave, Cheverly, MD

    Steinback, Chicago, Il.
    If your vote depends on some dumb things YOU would like each candidate to do. Then maybe YOU should be on the ballot, cause no one else live perfect lives. This was a car accident. As you see neither Obama nor Michelle are commenting and making this into any issue. We are all glad everyone is ok. So I guess if YOU have an accident with your car and YOU do not drive for a living. Your Employer should fire YOU then? Maybe someone lacking common sense and education would ramble on and on and on about this.

    October 10, 2007 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  18. Melissa, Waterloo, IA

    Why do trolls get to have their comments left up on here? I cannot believe real Americans post this crap.

    As the article says the motorcyclist was 3 vehicles back, & tried to pass on the left as the van was making a left hand turn. We do have idiot drivers in Iowa, and on a 2-lane highway, some crazies are always trying to pass. Hopefully he recovers, but he's the one who caused the accident by driving recklessly.

    As for the comments on Michelle Obama's looks, what in the heck? I saw her an hour before the accident in Waterloo, & she was gorgeous & refined as always. More importantly, she spoke the truth and showed she cares about the issues. She will make the best First Lady we've ever had.

    All the non-racist, non-idiot Americans need to vote this time!! Don't think change will come on it's own. As you can see, the trolls are noisy.

    October 10, 2007 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  19. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Oh my, sounds like a lot of you good folks are simply jealous of Mrs. Obama. Personally, I kinda wish it were me.

    October 10, 2007 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  20. Melissa, Waterloo, IA

    Here's an update on the story from the a local paper. Motorcyclist hurt in collision with van carrying Michelle Obama

    Emerson was taken by helicopter to Mercy Medical Center-North Iowa where he was treated and released, according to a hospital spokeswoman.

    The van carrying Obama and five others was heading north on Highway 65 after a stop in Iowa Falls, according to Tommy Vietor, Barack Obama's Iowa press secretary. Michelle Obama was to speak to Franklin County supporters at Maynes Grove Lodge at 946 Highway 65 South at 3:45 p.m. Earlier in the day, she had been in Waterloo.

    As the van prepared to make a left turn into the driveway of the lodge, Emerson, also traveling north, attempted to pass the van. When the van turned, it collided with the motorcycle, Vietor said.

    ..."We are not going to go on with the day as planned. Our hearts just aren't in it," [Michelle Obama] said.

    CNN could use a commenter registration system like this little paper does & cut down on the propagation of misinformation & hate.

    October 10, 2007 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  21. Mike, Cleveland, Ohio

    Obama haters and myth spinning bigots:

    Obama lived for most of his childhood in Hawaii and spent four of his pre-teen years in Indonesia. Obama's parents separated when he was two years old and later divorced. Obama’s father went to Harvard University to pursue Ph.D. studies, and then returned to Kenya, where he died in an auto accident when the younger Obama was 21. His mother married Lolo Soetoro, an Indonesian foreign student, with whom she had one daughter, Maya. The family moved to Jakarta in 1967, where Obama attended local schools from ages 6 to 10. He then returned to Honolulu to live with his maternal grandparents while attending Punahou School from 5th grade until his graduation in 1979. In, The Audacity of Hope Obama writes that he "was not raised in a religious household." He describes his mother, raised by non-religious parents, as detached from religion, yet "in many ways the most spiritually awakened person that I have ever known." He describes his Kenyan father as "raised a Muslim," but a "confirmed atheist" by the time his parents met, and his Indonesian step-father as "a man who saw religion as not particularly useful." He served in the Illinois Senate from 1997 to 2004; launching his campaign for U.S. Senate in 2003 (technically he’s been in elected office longer than Hillary).

    Anon, Ottawa, OH: Sometimes no matter how hard people try to prove you wrong, you still aren’t going to believe the truth. People misquote the bible all the time; technically you prove my point because you misspelled Moses (Mosses, your spelling, not mine). But hey we’re all human right?

    Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obama

    If anybody can refute the above statements with REAL FACT, let me know and list your source. Four years in a Muslim country and people think that was enough time to become a brainwashed, radical Muslim? Furthermore, even if he was Muslim or worse, a fundamentalist, do you really think that would radically change the whole country’s religion or course in world affairs in 4-8 years time? Anybody who answered “yes” to either of my questions above needs some serious help. I remember hearing about JFK getting bad press when he ran for President for being Catholic. People said “Kennedy’s gonna bring the pope in to convert us all to Catholics.” Of course we all know that never happened.

    Stop the paranoia and hysteria for once and listen to the man. If you don’t like what he has to say, don’t vote for him. For God’s sake, start acting like adults instead of children on the playground.

    Tom – Dedham, Mass

    Though I don’t always agree with your politics or your posts, I think you are to be commended for defending Obama’s wife from the empty rhetoric and white noise coming from these other posters. Thank you Tom for bringing real debate and upstanding, upbeat REAL rhetoric to these blogs.


    We need more people like you to correct the misinformed people about Arab/Islamic/Muslim countries.

    Eric Steinback, Chicago IL

    I’m a former motorcyclist and avid turn signal user (wish more people would use them). There is one other factor that might be interesting, was the motorcyclist passing in a double yellow line or an intersection? I suspect you “conclusions” about Obama’s wife and the campaign are more based on partisan politics more than based on the innocence before being proved guilty. Don’t you think the campaign would receive a lot of press by now if they were guilty in the accident?

    October 10, 2007 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  22. Dr. Kildare

    Something's fishy. How often do you life-flight an accident victim and then they're immediately "treated and released."

    BTW, Michelle Obama is SMOKIN' HOT.

    October 10, 2007 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  23. Juanito, Washington, DC

    Wow...such ignorance and hatred in 2007? Couple the racist comments in here with the recent noose hangings all over the country, and I'm almost scared for Obama shoud he win.

    America is in trouble.

    October 10, 2007 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  24. Liberal Chic

    Jen, Gainesville, FL :

    I pray for the safety of the Obama family, who is making a huge sacrifice for the American people (they have many better options than being on the campaign trail everyday.)

    That's the funniest thing I've read in a long time. A man who cannot verbalize a specific reason or a goal for wanting to become President (other than "to bring people together") is sacrificing terribly to become the most powerful man in the world when he was a nobody-state-senator just three years ago having won that seat barely challenged.

    If he wants to do some good for the country, he could have used his overwhelming popularity as a freshly elected senator to buck trends in the senate and speak his mind for the people instead of going with the flow with his senior colleagues just so he can posture for a presidential run in 2008. This man is simply unqualified to be the President now and given his incompetence/failure to come up with concrete ideas/plans (not fresh-sounding platitudes), I am not sure he will ever wisen up enough to become one.

    Instead of admiring an unqualified person for reaching for something he cannot attain, let's be honest and say his ego is out of control. While we're at it, let's admit that ALL politicians running for President, competent or otherwise, do so because they have giant egos.

    October 11, 2007 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  25. Dave, Cheverly, MD

    BOTTOM LINE; It was not fair for Obama to get his CALLING right now. NOT Right NOW Hillary. We AGREE with that point. It was supposed to be YOU right now. We have all been there, were you are right now. So we can all sympathies with you. BUT we all have to put out COUNTRY first! There is just too much going on. If we ALL put our insecurities, hate, jealousy’s aside. We can see that the greatest nation on earth is about to show it and lead the world with a candidate that we All can see he was BORN to lead this Nation at this time! You know how we see our baby daughters in diapers singing with the hair brush and we say Oh lord she is going to be a some singer or our 2 year old sons playing grab the ducky toy at the bottom of the bath tub with their mouths while holding their breath and we say Oh lord he is going to be some swimmer. THAT’S what we see in OBAMA. ANYONE who heard him speak at the Convention 2004 though t what I did at the time. WHO THE BELL IS THAT? HE SHOULD BE PRESIDENT. HOW DARE HE GET UP THERE AND TALK ALL THAT TRUTH AND HOPE!! HIS COLOR DIDN'T MATTER AS I WAS NOT INITIALLY WATCHING THE TV SCREEN. He just seems born to do this. LETS LET HIM…

    October 11, 2007 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
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