Sunday, September 2, 2012

Princess Diana's Car Crash

Princess Diana died on 31st August 1997 at 3.57 am at a Paris hospital after suffering massive internal injuries in a high-speed car crash. Diana was 36. Her companion, Harrod's heir, Dodi Fayed, and their chauffeur passed away at the crash scene.

told a news conference at Paris' Hospital de la Pitie Salpetriere that Diana, Princess of Wales, died after going into cardiac arrest.

It has to be noted that Diana's death was announced at 6 a.m. by Dr. Alain Pavie, head of the cardiology department.

Prince Charles flied from Scotland to Paris Sunday to accompany the body of his ex wife on its return to Britain.

Diana and Charles' two sons, Princes William, 15, and Harry, 12, were vacationing with Charles at the royal family's Scottish home at Balmoral. Buckingham Palace claimed Charles had been notified of the accident and had told the children. 

"The death of the Princess of Wales fills us all with shock and deep grief," quoted as saying British ambassador Michael Jay, who was at the hospital.

Christopher Dickey, Newsweek's Paris bureau chief, told CNN that the princess' death came after she suffered massive internal injuries, including lung damage.
Hospital officials revealed that Diana also suffered severe head injuries.

It has to be mentioned that according to Dr. Bruno Riou, head of the hospital's intensive care unit, ambulance workers managed to revive her at the crash scene, but her heart stopped beating on arrival at the hospital.

Surgeons opened Diana's injured chest, closed a wound in her heart and massaged the heart for two hours in a vain battle to save her life, Riou declared.

"We could not revive her," Riou admitted. 

According to the police, a fourth person in the car, one of the princess' bodyguards, was seriously injured in the car accident.


The high-speed crash took place shortly after midnight in a tunnel along the Seine River at the Pont de l'Alma bridge less than half a mile from the Eiffel Tower, while paparazzi were following her car on motorcycles, police revealed.

Diana's car was traveling at 80 mph through the narrow tunnel, a French official claimed. The driver obviously lost control of the car, according to French radio, which quoted witnesses as saying the car slammed into a concrete support post, then bounced into a wall. 

Several motorcyclists were detained for questioning after the crash, police told. A badly damaged motorcycle was taken from the scene of the accident by police.

Seven photographers were in custody, police revealed then.

At least some of the photographers took pictures before help arrived, French radio said, adding that one of the photographers was beaten at the scene by outraged witnesses.

An American witness, Mike Walker, revealed that the car in which Diana was traveling "looked like it hit the wall."

Two other Americans visiting Paris heard the crash and ran to the scene. Joanna Luz and Tom Richardson, both of San Diego, claimed they were walking along the Seine when they heard a bang and squealing tires under the bridge.

They described the car as a dark blue Mercedes, with the passenger side airbag deployed, facing oncoming traffic.

They also claimed they believed at least one cameraman was following the car, stating that what appeared to be a professional photographer was on the scene less than 15 seconds after the crash.

"His equipment was very professional - his camera was a foot and a half tall," Luz quoted as saying. "It definitely was not a tourist camera."

Dickey was at the scene when the Mercedes was removed from the tunnel. Its windshield was cracked, its roof collapsed, and the front of the car crunched back to the windshield.

A wrecking crew had great difficulty recovering the car, Dickey said, because even the wheels wouldn't move. "Only the trunk of the car appears to be intact at this point," Dickey said. In the end, the car was lifted out with a crane.

Bittermann said the highway, one of several high-speed arteries into the center of Paris, typically has very little traffic around midnight Saturday.

There was no barrier between incoming and outgoing traffic, Bittermann revealed; if a car went out of control it would be nearly certain to swerve into oncoming traffic.

Radio France Info reported then that the crash trapped several people in a pileup. Police cars and vans with flashing lights filled the site outside the tunnel and officers blocked off the area.

The car was definitely traveling without an escort.

There is speculation that Diana and Dodi didn't take the normal  Mercedes 600. Instead they took an inconspicuous model, a Mercedes 280. The second security man at the hotel, Henri Paul, should have driven the car. Bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones sat in the front seat, Dodi and Diana in the back. 

One thing is certain: Diana is still loved and greatly missed...

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  1. I still remember the day when we all heard this bad news over the country. She was a lovable person. The people who all died in such accidents can ask for Whiplash compensation to recover some loss.

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  3. Princess Diana fatal accident is really depressing. She was the light and joy not only in England but all over the world. For sure the paparazzi that have been involved for Princess Diana’s demised will be held responsible for this. If ever we have an accident like this and it’s the fault of others, then we are entitled for car accident claim for the injuries we endured.

  4. Dickey said. In the end, the car was lifted out with a crane.
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