World Food Prize Ambassador Quinn
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THE ARCHIVE OF AMBASSADOR KENNETH M. QUINN
FROM THE MISSISSIPPI TO THE MEKONG
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Chappaquiddick Redux: Trapped in a SUV Underwater

1/12/69

In 1969, a few months after the Chappaquidick incident involving Senator Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts, Amb. Quinn found himself in a similar situation as a passenger in a completely submerged vehicle. While serving as District Senior Advisor in Duc Thanh District of Sa Dec Province, Amb. Quinn attended a dinner in a remote, but peaceful village accompanying the senior American in the province. The Vietnamese driver of the senior American’s vehicle in which Amb. Quinn was riding in the backseat, had become inebriated on potent rice wine. Losing control of the vehicle as it was traversing a canal, the vehicle toppled off the bridge and ended up on its side totally submerged. The senior American held Amb. Quinn back while he escaped out the window of the vehicle. As Amb. Quinn began to follow him, he noticed that the stunned and disoriented driver was unable to extricate himself. Still holding his breath, Amb. Quinn helped free him from his seat and then pulled him out the window of the vehicle, which was the only means of escape. Amb. Quinn noted that this was one of five separate life-saving situations in which Amb. Quinn found himself during his first two years of service in Vietnam.

© 2020 World Food Prize Ambassador Quinn. All rights reserved.