Duke of Edinburgh was 'dazzled by the sun' before crash on 'accident blackspot'

The Duke of Edinburgh crashed his Land Rover after reportedly being ‘dazzled by the sun’.

Philip, 97, was left “very shocked” and shaken following the crash but walked away unhurt after his vehicle overturned near the Sandringham Estate.

Norfolk Police have said that investigations will continue today into the collision between the Duke’s Land Rover and a Kia at the junction of the B1439.

They confirmed the driver of the Kia, a 28-year-old woman, suffered cuts to her knee while the passenger, a 45-year-old woman, sustained a broken wrist. Both casualties were treated at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn and were discharged last night.

Police can also confirm a nine-month-old baby boy was in the Kia at the time of the incident and was uninjured.

Witness Roy Warne, 75, told The Sun newspaper that the Land Rover “came across the A149 like a somersault. It was turning on its side over and over”, adding: “It was frightening to see a powerful car rolling like that.

After helping the royal out of the car, he said he heard Philip say he had been “dazzled by the sun”.

The Duke of Edinburgh has been involved in a road traffic accident close to the Sandringham Estate (Picture: KLFM 96.7)
 Witness Roy Warne heard the duke say he hd been dazzled by the sun (Picture: Aaron Chown/PA Wire)

After he saw the crash, Mr Warne said: “I rushed to the other car – there was smoke coming out as if it may explode. There was a baby in the back seat screaming.”

He said he helped Philip out of the car, adding: “He stood up and was unharmed but was obviously very shocked”.

MORE: Dramatic footage shows motorist driving on wrong side of carriageway at speeds of 70mph in a 30mph zone
MORE: New Zealand asks unruly British tourists to leave

The crash happened at the Babingley crossroads, where the B1439 meets the A149, between King’s Lynn and the north Norfolk coast – a known accident blackspot.

Concerns have previously been raised about road safety on the A149 near Sandringham and Norfolk County Council was due to meet on Friday to discuss plans to lower the speed limit from 60mph to 50mph and install safety cameras.

Debris was left at the scene of the crash on the A149 (Picture: PA)

Glare from low-lying sun can cause issues for drivers and according to the AA, being dazzled by bright light is frequently cited as the cause of road accidents.

Figures released in 2014 showed the glare of a low-lying sun was contributing to an average of 28 road deaths a year.

Around 3,900 road users a year were injured during to incidents where the driver had been dazzled by the sun.

The AA and the Federation of Manufacturing Opticians say having the right pair of sunglasses can help prevent the accidents and advise that drivers keep a pair of driving sunglasses in a vehicle.

Prince Philip and the Queen are on their winter break at Sandringham (File picture: PA)

Norfolk Police said officers were called to the A149 at Sandringham just before 3pm on Thursday after a Land Rover and a Kia were involved in a collision.

The force confirmed both drivers were breathalysed and the tests proved negative.

It said: “It is force policy to breath test drivers involved in collisions. We can confirm both drivers were breath tested and provided negative readings.”

The duke and the other driver were both breathalysed, police have confirmed (File Picture: PA)

A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman confirmed the duke was driving when the accident happened.

She added: “He saw a doctor as a precaution and the doctor confirmed he was not injured.”

Buckingham Palace has also confirmed that Prince Philip does hold a driving licence.

A spokeswoman from the Palace told Express.co.uk: “Prince Philip followed all the usual DVLA practices.”

But with the Queen’s consort set to turn 98 in June, there may be calls from some for the duke to give up driving altogether. 

Media film broken glass and car parts on the side of the A149 near to the Sandringham Estate where the Duke of Edinburgh was involved in a road accident yesterday while driving [Photo: PA]

According to Age UK‘s website: “Once you reach the age of 70, your licence expires, but this doesn’t automatically mean you have to stop driving. You just need to renew your driving licence if you want to continue. You’ll need to renew it every 3 years after that.”

It goes on to advise that some medical conditions, such as dementia, Parkinson’s or conditions which affect the eyes, should be declared to the DVLA.

Having a medical condition doesn’t mean that a person will lose their licence, it may mean they could need help with adjusting or make adaptations to their car.

However, Age UK goes on to explain “Unfortunately, the DVLA can also tell you to stop driving, if you’re not fit to drive.”

Figures from the DVLA in November showed 110,790 people aged 90 or over still held driving licences.

There were 314 licence holders aged at least 100. The oldest were four people who were 107.

Figures showed four people who were 107 hold a driving licence in Great Britain [Photo: PA]

Edmund King, AA president, said: “Young, predominantly male, drivers are much more likely to crash within six months of passing their test than older drivers within six months of hanging up their keys.

“Older drivers often self-restrict their driving by not driving at night and only driving on familiar roads.

“The decision to hang up your keys is a tough one but should be based on personal advice from your GP and family, rather than being based on some arbitrary age.”