LONDON — Queen Elizabeth's 97-year-old husband was recovering Friday at the royal Sandringham estate after the Land Rover he was driving rolled on a nearby highway in a collision with another vehicle, whose passengers included a nine-month-old infant.
Witness Roy Warne told the BBC he was driving home from work when the accident involving Prince Philip's black Land Rover and a compact car unfolded in front of him.
Warne said he helped free a baby from the second car, a Kia, before helping the prince out of his vehicle, which was lying on its side.
"I rushed to the other car first — there was smoke coming out as if it may explode. There was a baby in the back seat, screaming," Warne told the U.K. Sun.
"I saw a car, a black (Land) Rover, come out from a side road and it rolled and ended up on the other side of the road,'' Warne said to the BBC. "I saw it careering, tumbling across the road and ending up on the other side.''
Warne found Philip trapped in the car, but persuaded him to move one leg at a time to get out. He then pulled him out of the Land Rover through the windscreen or sun roof. The prince was able to immediately stand and walk around.
"He was obviously shaken, and then he went and asked if everyone else was all right,'' Warne said.
Police conducted breath tests on the drivers after the accident shortly before 3 p.m. Thursday. Both tested negatively.
The driver of the Kia, a 28-year-old woman, suffered cuts to her knee while her passenger, a 45-year-old woman, suffered a broken wrist. Both were taken to the hospital and sent home. A nine-month old baby in the Kia was not injured, police confirmed.
"The person in the car behind me also stopped and the passenger from that car took the baby in his arms after we'd freed it from the baby harness," Warne continued, according to People.
The others "were very shaken and one of them was the mother of the child and was very upset."
The prince was checked by a doctor after the accident and determined to be fine, Buckingham Palace said.
"We are aware of the public interest in this case, however, as with any other investigation it would be inappropriate to speculate on the causes of the collision until an investigation is carried out,'' Norfolk Constabulary said in a statement.
By coincidence, authorities in the area had planned to consider improving safety on the road, the A149. Norfolk County Council will discuss reducing the speed limit on the road from 60 mph (96.5 km/h) to 50 mph (80 km/h) and installing safety cameras.
Philip has largely retired from public life but is well known for his fierce independence and his love of cars. He has seemed to be in generally good health in recent months. He and Elizabeth, 92, have been on an extended Christmas vacation at Sandringham, one of her favoured rural homes.
Crash sparks questions over whether Philip should still be driving
People noted that Prince Charles has previously expressed some worry over his father's enthusiasm for driving. Five years ago, when a war veteran said that his father who is in a wheelchair still drove, Charles reportedly said: "So does my father. I'm always worried."
The crash has raised questions over whether Philip should still be driving.
"I have no idea who the fault lay with — but he is 97 years old and maybe his reactions are not as fast as they once were," royal biographer Penny Junor told Sky News.
But Edmund King, president of the Automobile Association in the U.K., told Sky News that calls for elderly drivers to face bans or restrictions are misplaced.
"If driving restrictions based on age and safety were introduced we would be more likely to restrict young drivers rather than older drivers," King said.
With files from Natalie Stechyson.
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