Did you know that Mitt Romney was in a coma for a few days during the `60s? No, not due to drugs. Lou Colagiovanni gives the commonly accepted story for the Examiner:
Before Mitt Romney was a politician he was a Mormon missionary in France during the 1960s. It is a little known fact that while he was spreading the gospel through rural France in 1968, Mitt Romney was involved in a head-on collision. Romney was driving, and one of his passengers was killed.
This was first reported by The Boston Globe in 2007 when they told the story of Mitt Romney almost dying in Bernos-Beaulac, France while driving a Citroen DS. Romney, who was 21 at the time, was driving from Pau to Bordeaux as a chauffeur for Duane Anderson the French Mormon mission president.
Romney tells the story of going around a curve and being struck at full speed by a Catholic priest named Albert Marie. Romney claimed Albert Marie was drunk but this has never been verified. Conversely it was not been verified if Romney was under the influence at the time of the accident, because he was unconscious and in a coma. The first police officer to arrive wrote, “he is dead” in Romney’s passport. There is no record if a sobriety test was issued after Romney regained consciousness who escaped the crash with a broken arm and lacerations to the face.
Six people were in the car that day. Suzanne Farel, Bertin Farel, David Wood, Mitt Romney, Duane Anderson and the fatality, Duane’s wife, Leola Anderson.
Duane Anderson and Bertin Farel have since passed away, leaving only three people who actually know what took place. Did Mitt Romney cause the accident, or was he struck head on? Did his actions cause the death of a beloved wife, or was she the unfortunate victim of a drunk driver?
But it turns out that Romney’s story doesn’t exactly match the facts. Daily Kos member bontemps 2012 writes:
Bishop Jean Vilnet was the driver of the other car in Mitt Romney’s fatal accident back on June 16th in 1968. Romney has been lying about what happened that Sunday for 44 years. Telling his gawd-awful lie about that crash is the single longest running project of Romney’s life.
In 2014, Mgr Vilnet will have been a Catholic priest for 70 years.
The “drunk priest” named “Albert Marie” of Mitt Romney’s imaginative fantasy about that 1968 accident has been spread around to his own family, to the families of the other Mormons involved, New York Times, The Guardian, Washington Post, Boston Globe, to Michael Kranish and Scott Helman for their book, “The Real Romney.” That person does not exist. Never did. Photos at foolmoon dot com and elsewhere prove it. Bishop Jean Vilnet was injured in the crash and he can be seen in hospital at Bazas with his right arm bandaged.
Bishop Vilnet, then 46 years old by American count, was not drunk, not speeding, and not out of his own lane. He was driving along and Romney hit him.
That 1968 accident took place when Mitt Romney ignored painted roadway lines and went head-on into an on-coming left turn lane, opposite the post office at Beaulac, France. Concrete traffic separators were added later on. Good piece of engineering, that, but too late for Mrs. Leola Anderson. She died of her injuries as she was the sixth person in a five passenger car, so she had no seat belt.
Mitt Romney claims over and over that he was blameless for that accident.
Romney’s view could well have been obstructed, particularly if a car or a truck ahead of him had slowed to make an acute right turn into Rue de la Poste. That is when being careful matters. Aggressive driving, guessing where the road goes can get someone killed. That is exactly what happened.
John Dickerson tries to put a positive spin on the coma at Slate, relating it to Romney’s history of bullying:
Mitt Romney needs a new origin story. Right now he is on the very wrong side of the famous Charles Atlas advertisement. Today’s revelation, when it comes to high-school antics, couldn’t be much worse. Romney didn’t just bully another kid, who by accounts was new to the school, soft-spoken, and the target of ridicule; he organized a mob of other kids to do it. The Post story indicates that the young man may have been the object of abuse because of rumors he was gay. A story that casts a young Romney as intolerant and without basic empathy for someone who may have been gay is unfortunate the day after Barack Obama made the most empathetic statement in support of gay rights ever made by a sitting president. Right now Romney is the bully who gangs up on another student in an unfair fight. He is Biff, and as parents we teach our kids to root for McFly.
But Romney could take back his origins. A transformative moment in a person’s life or personal history can clean one’s slate and let one emerge as a different person. And Romney may have one. A year later, at 19, Romney was a missionary in France. He was involved in a searing car crash that by his own admission deepened his faith and changed his outlook on life. A near-death experience and a coma will do that to you. It would explain why there is no analog for the behavior described in the Post story. Romney and his team might consider having him tell that story again soon.
But at Above Top Secret, member signalfire has a darker suspicion–Romney might have brain damage:
The Wiki post about this has been thoroughly scrubbed but from a 2007 NY Times piece, Romney was involved in a head-on collision while in France during his missionary days that put him in a coma for 2-3 days. Residual brain damage (a coma practically guarantees it) would explain his apparent inability to ‘remember’ the bullying in high school, and maybe his seeming total lack of real compassion and his flat personality.