What is it with Kennedys and moving vehicles? Put them in a plane or behind the wheel of a car and disaster is only a few heartbeats away. We should be glad they're so rich they ride in limos most of the time, because if not for their chauffeurs, we'd all be in danger.
A lot of people have been hard on Robert Francis Kennedy, Jr. because of the conflict between his strident environmentalism and his hypocritical use of a chauffered Ford Expedition, but I say give the man a break. He's getting driven around in a gas-guzzler for the sake of humanity. We can't enjoy clean air if we get run over while standing on a street corner breathing it.
The tragic history of the Kennedys and vehicles is documented as far back as World War II, though I suspect they were crashing oxcarts in Ireland in the early 1800s. JFK's elder brother Joseph was shot down in a plane during the war, echoing the dramatic death of his nephew John F. Kennedy, Jr. in a crash in 1999 while flying a private plane to Martha's Vineyard with his wife and her sister on board.
JFK Jr.'s death was shocking, but the Kennedy clan seems to have a lot more trouble with cars than with planes. Perhaps they realize that flying is just too dangerous when you're genetically incompatible with steering and born without a directional sense of any kind.
The most famous driver in the family is third-string patriarch Teddy. The senior Senator from Massachusetts almost ended his political career in 1969 when he drove off a bridge on Chappaquiddick Island, plunging his Olds Delmont 88 into a pond and drowning his passenger Mary Jo Kopechne. His career eventually recovered, but his personal life has been plagued with problems associated with drinking and poor personal judgement.
Former Congressman Joseph Patrick Kennedy II, once heir apparent to the Senate seat of his uncle Teddy, has had driving problems too. In 1973 he was the driver of an open top Jeep which he drove off a road and rolled several times. The accident crushed the spine of passenger, Pam Kelley, crippling her for life.