What happened during the Christmas evening drive from Camp David to a campaign fundraiser? How did the car crash? Was that a tree or some kind of terrorist attack? And how did she (First Lady Margaret) die?
The crash was caused by part of a tree falling on the car. A few moments before the crash we see the camera focus on the part of the tree that is breaking. This caused the car to skid off on the ice and through the side of a bridge, it was the fall from the bridge that killed the First Lady. Quote from wikipedia:
Former Special Forces U.S. Army Ranger Mike Banning (Butler) is the lead Secret Service agent assigned to head the Presidential Detail. He maintains a personal, friendly relationship with President Benjamin Asher (Eckhart), First Lady Margaret (Judd) and, especially, their son Connor (Jacobsen). During a Christmas evening drive from Camp David to a campaign fundraiser, a tree branch falls and strikes the front of the president’s convoy, making the vehicles skid out of control on black ice on a bridge. The lead vehicle crashes through the guard rail and falls into the icy river below, leaving the presidential limousine teetering on the edge of the bridge. Banning is able to save President Asher, but Margaret and two other agents die when their vehicle falls and crashes.
4The First Lady dying was part of the movie to give you back story on Banning. It told you he was part of the Secret Service, the relationship between Banning and the First Family (very tight), what happened to get him off the President's detail, and where he landed after. The death of the First Lady would have hurt Banning almost as much as the President, not just professionally, but personally as well. Nov 22, 2013 at 12:50