On the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana’s death, one of the French firefighters who responded to the scene of the car collision recalled Royal’s final words in an interview with The Sun.
“The car was in a mess and we just dealt with it like any road accident,” Xavier Gourmelon said when his team arrived at the Pont de l’Alma tunnel in Paris. “We got straight to work to see who needed help and who was alive. Diana said to me, ‘My God, what’s happened?'”
According to Gourmelon, the princess was conscious and had her eyes open when he pulled her out of the wrecked Mercedes. “She was moving very slightly and I could see she was alive … I could see she had a slight injury to her right shoulder but, other than that, there was nothing significant. There was no blood on her at all.”
When Gourmelon and others lifted her from the backseat and onto a stretcher, she suffered cardiac arrest.
“I massaged her heart and a few seconds later she was breathing again,” he said. “It was a relief of course because, as a first responder, you want to save lives – and that’s what I thought I had done. To be honest, I thought she would live. As far as I knew when she was in the ambulance she was alive and I expected her to live. But I found out later she had died in the hospital. It was very upsetting.”