Gwyneth Paltrow thanked for 9/11 intervention

Kwala Mandel
The Upshot

In an unusual twist of fate, one grateful New Yorker credited Gwyneth Paltrow with her survival on Sept.11. In an interview with The Morton Report titled "How Gwyneth Paltrow Saved My Life on 9/11," Lara Lundstrom Clarke explained the domino effect of a chance encounter with the actress.

Clarke says she was hurrying to her office in the twin towers, where she was an account manager at Baseline Financial Services on the 77th floor of tower 2. In order to catch the train on time, she jaywalked across 7th Avenue. "It was one of those mornings that felt good -- you had a little skip in your step. What the heck — I always cut across 7th Avenue. Then all of a sudden a silver Mercedes SUV came barreling down towards me," she told The Morton Report.

After the car screeched to a halt, she and the driver fell into a "who-goes-first" situation, and Clarke looked up and saw it was Paltrow behind the wheel. Clarke says Paltrow waved her across the street but the incident cost her valuable minutes. She reached the subway just in time to watch the doors close.

She was forced to catch the next subway train, which kept her from reaching her office before the attack that killed four of her coworkers. "If I had made that train, I would have been at my desk on the 77th floor of 2 World Trade Center," she told The Morton Report, adding that she wrote a letter to Paltrow to thank her.

Paltrow's publicist confirmed the story and told People that Paltrow was "deeply moved" by it.