March 2, 1998 in Nation/World

Bodyguard Says Diana Conscious After Crash Survivor Says Princess Di Called Out Boyfriend’s Name

Associated Press
 

Princess Diana was conscious and talking immediately after the Paris car crash that killed her and Dodi Fayed, the bodyguard who survived the accident says.

“I have had flashes of a female voice calling out in the back of the car. First it’s a groan. Then Dodi’s name is called. It could only have been Princess Diana. I was conscious, and so was she,” Trevor Rees-Jones said in an interview published Monday, his most extensive public comments since the crash.

French doctors have said that Diana did not regain consciousness between the Aug. 31 accident in the Pont de l’Alma tunnel and her death at the Paris hospital.

Rees-Jones told the Daily Mirror that Henri Paul, the chauffeur who was also killed in the crash, did not appear to have been drinking. Tests have showed Paul was legally drunk.

“If he had shown any signs of being drunk I would never have let him near our car,” Rees-Jones said.

Rees-Jones, who worked for Mohamed al Fayed and was Dodi Fayed’s bodyguard, said he remembered two cars and a motorbike chasing Diana’s Mercedes after it left the Paris Ritz before crashing. One of the cars was a white hatchback similar to a mystery Fiat thought to have been involved in the death crash.

Although the bodyguard survived the crash, he was seriously injured. For several months after the accident, Rees-Jones remembered nothing about the night of the crash.

Rees-Jones said he had experienced flashbacks in the past week to incidents before and after the accident.

“My psychiatrist calls them windows of memory, they are small and don’t last very long,” he told daily tabloid. “To start with I couldn’t remember a thing, and doctors weren’t sure if I would ever remember. I had amnesia, everything was just a blank.”

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