Mitt Romney today stands on the brink of becoming the Republican candidate to challenge Barack Obama for the presidency of the U.S.

But it could have been so different for the former Mormon missionary when he was almost killed in a car accident in Bernos-Beaulac, France, in 1968.

The 21-year-old was driving from Pau to Bordeaux when he was hit by a car driven by a Catholic priest, which killed one of his own passengers.

‘We were all talking about how dangerous how the highways were and the French highways,’ Mr Romney said, reported the Boston Globe in 2007.

‘Literally as we were having that conversation, boom, we were hit. It happened so quickly (that) there was no braking and no honking.’

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