As the US president was leaving his campaign headquarters in Delaware on Sunday, a motorist struck a Secret Service vehicle that was part of Joe Biden’s motorcade, shocking him with a security concern.
When a sedan crashed into an SUV parked at a nearby junction, just 40 metres (130 feet) away from Biden, there was a tremendous bang, and security officers quickly bundled the president into a waiting car and drove him out of the downtown Wilmington building.
“Both the president and first lady are fine,” a White House official told an AFP reporter who witnessed the incident.
“Today, at approximately 8:09 pm (0109 GMT), a Secret Service vehicle securing the president’s motorcade route was struck by another vehicle in Wilmington,” Secret Service spokesperson Special Agent Steve Kopek said.
“There was no protective interest associated with this event and the president’s motorcade departed without incident,” he added.
After shouting questions at Biden from a distance, pool reporters had congregated on the sidewalk outside the campaign headquarters, where the president and First Lady Jill Biden had dinner with workers. When they heard the accident, they noticed that Biden looked astonished.
Agents moved quickly, trapping the silver sedan with Delaware licence plates and pulling guns on the driver, who raised his hands in surrender.
Staff then hurriedly gathered reporters to board the vehicle as it left the soaked scene.
“They’re evacuating, you guys gotta go,” a staffer told reporters as security personnel secured the area.
Biden arrived safely at his family home without further incident.