Archers escape after M25 crash

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The Independent Online
Millionaire author and former Conservative Party chairman Lord Archer had his second lucky escape of the year yesterday, walking almost unscathed from a car crash after his BMW left the road.

Less than six months after the Department of Trade and Industry launched, and later dropped, an investigation into alleged share dealing involving Anglia Television, of which his wife is a non-executive director, the Tory peer was again on thin ice.

This time it was his car rather than his reputation which suffered a battering as it crashed off the M25 in Hertfordshire and continued through a wire fence before finally coming to rest on an embankment.

Lady Archer was hurt as she went through the side window of the car, sustaining a cut on her left eye which required one stitch, and scratches on her arm and left hand.

Her husband escaped with cuts and bruises. Their sons William and James, who were also in the car, were unhurt. Lord Archer was breathalysed by police, but the test proved negative and the cause of the crash is not known.

The couple were taken to Mount Vernon Hospital, near Watford, for treatment but were later transferred to the nearby private Bishopwood Hospital. They were not kept in overnight.

Police could not comment on reports that the car, owned and driven by Lord Archer, span off the road after a rear tyre burst.

Last night the Archers were recovering at their home in Grantchester, near Cambridge.

William Archer, 22, said everyone was "fine" after their ordeal.

Motorist Jim Garnet, who stopped at the scene soon after the accident, said: "The car went through a wire fence and into a small wood at the top of an embankment.

"He was lucky he went into a wood - the trees seemed to act like a brake and slowed him down."