Gwyneth Paltrow: Learning I Helped Save A Woman On 9/11 ‘Still Gives Me Chills’
First Published: September 6, 2011 6:04 PM EDT Credit: Getty Images
LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- Gwyneth Paltrow was greatly moved to learn recently that an encounter with a woman in New York on September 11, 2001 changed that person’s fate, inadvertently saving Lara Lundstrom Clarke from being in the World Trade Center during the attacks.
“It still gives me chills,” Gwyneth told Access Hollywood correspondent Tim Vincent in London of Lara’s story. “I can’t quite believe how many other people changed the course of strangers’ lives that day and they’re not able to reach out to them.”
Lara, a then-24-year-old account manager at Baseline Financial Services (located on the 77th floor of Tower 2), started her morning like any other workday.
Lara told Kit Hoover during an earlier interview on Access Hollywood Live, “I started off by rollerblading on the Hudson, got a good workout in, and was running late to work.”
“Jaywalking is quite common, so there was an intersection in [the] West Village [and] I needed to get to the 1/9 train quickly. So I jaywalked across 7th Avenue, and the same time I was doing that, a silver Mercedes SUV comes barreling down, or, I should say driving down like she was supposed to – I was the one who was in the wrong there — and almost hit me with her car.
“It was a classic start/stop situation, it happened about three times, and then finally, we both started laughing,” she continued. “I looked over to my left, and there was Gwyneth Paltrow behind the wheel. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, and she waved me across. I couldn’t wait to tell my co-workers what I had experienced.”
As Lara made her way to the subway station, she was frustrated to see the doors of the train slam shut as the train disappeared down the track, the fateful timing that kept her from arriving to work at the World Trade Center on time.
After getting off the train, Lara saw confusion and eventually, the second plane hit her own office floor, claiming the lives of many of her co-workers.
Now, a decade later, Lara wrote a letter to Gwyneth, to remind her of their fateful 7th Avenue encounter, and the actress told Access it affected them all.
Gwyneth told Tim, “She saw that it was me so she was able write that letter to me years later for a sense of closure.”
Gwyneth admitted she has reached out to Lara.
“I want to speak to her so I actually wrote her an e-mail but I might have gotten the address wrong because I haven’t heard back from her but I am waiting to hear,” the actress told Access.
Tune into Access Hollywood on September 7 for the full interview with Gwyneth.
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