I realized she was very beautiful, but my attention was so focused on what I had to do to save her life, I didn’t have time to think, who was this woman.Dr. Frederic Mailliez, a French doctor who was on his way home from a party in Paris when he came across Princess Diana’s fatal car crash. This week marks 25 years since the accident in the Alma Tunnel in 1997.
Why It Matters: August 31 marks 25 years since Princess Diana died in a car crash in Paris. Dr. Mailliez was the first doctor on the scene and assessed the four victims in the car; his remarks provide insight into one of the most talked about tragedies in recent years.
- “I realize my name will always be attached to this tragic night. I feel a little bit responsible for her last moments,” said Dr. Mailliez.
- He saw four people in the car; two had died on impact and he sought to help the other two. The front passenger “was screaming” but breathing and “could wait a few minutes.” The female passenger “had her head down” and “needed quick assistance.” He said, “I know it’s surprising, but I didn’t recognize Princess Diana.”
- Dr. Mailliez retrieved the respiratory bag in his car and returned to the crash. While he worked to help Diana, paparazzi gathered around the scene, though he noted that “they didn’t interfere with my job.”
- Firefighters soon appeared and took the victims to the hospital; Princess Diana died a few hours later. Her companion, Dodi Fayed, and her driver/bodyguard Henri Paul also died.
- Princess Diana married into the British royal family in 1981 and was well known for her charitable work and fashion sense. Her youngest son, Prince Harry, recently spoke at a charity event and said he wants the 25th anniversary of her death “to be a day filled with memories of her incredible work and love for the way she did it.”
For the full interview: Diana’s last moments: French doctor recalls ‘tragic night’ (Associated Press)
by Jenna Lee,