This incident occurred on July 30th, 1994, in San Dimas, a suburb of Los Angeles, California. That morning I had driven about 400 miles in my white 560 SL Mercedes convertible from San Francisco. I was accompanied by my secretary as I had a couple of meetings with some clients in Los Angeles. My name at the time was Arti Gupta and had a very successful Financial Consultancy practice.

For some reason, that particular day I had a somewhat uneasy feeling, a kind of premonition of sorts, nagging me… so had been in a quiet prayer mode the whole day.

(As a note: interestingly, when I had purchased this car in 1989, these words had popped into my head, “you will die in this car”! Of course, I had no reason to give any credence to this thought at the time, but that day, those very words seemed to be repeating themselves to me.)

By 11:30 pm, after finishing my meetings, and having attended the birthday function of one of my client’s in the city of Glendora, I was able to call it a day and leave for the hotel. Earlier on I had decided to have my secretary drive the car after the function as I was extremely tired. But as destiny would have it, in my sleepy and tired state I forgot and very mechanically got into the driver’s seat, without even bothering to put on my seatbelt, as it wasn’t mandatory in 1994.

After about 10 minutes on the road, having just entered the city of San Dimas, a car with two young boys, driving to my left, suddenly sped up and swerved to the right. They came into the lane right in front of me — and then stopped abruptly at the ‘Stop’ sign in front, leaving me nowhere to go! In my immediate shock and sleepy exhaustion, I slammed the brakesor so I thought!

It was the accelerator instead!

The 560 SL is designed to go from 0 mph to 60 mph within seconds and that’s just what it did… shot forward at full speed!




In that moment of impact I felt my whole body lift up and fly forward with great force and hit something–

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