A firefighter who attempted to save Princess Diana 20 years ago after her fatal car crash in Paris has spoken out on the anniversary of her passing about that fateful night.
The British royal died at age 36 in 1997. Xavier Gourmelon was one of the first responders at the scene.
He told Good Morning Britain Thursday Diana was still alive when he first approached the wreckage.
“Nobody knew it was. Nobody recognized her,” he recalled. “As I approached, there was a blonde person sitting on the floor. She regained consciousness and looked at me and said, ‘Oh my God, what’s happened?’ A bit agitated. I tried to calm her down and tell her we’d looked after her, and she fell into a coma again.”
Gourmelon claimed those were Diana's last words.
While many have long believed it was the paparazzi chasing Diana’s speeding car that caused the accident, Gourmelon said there was reportedly no one at the crash site.
“When I arrived, there was no one around the car,” he insisted. “It was completely clear around the car. We took her out of the car, put her on a stretcher, and at that moment the doctor said she was in cardiac arrest. So we gave her CPR and after 20 seconds she regained consciousness and we transferred her to the ambulance.”
While Gourmelon believed Diana would survive, she lost consciousness again. Newsweek reported the medical team at Pitie Salpetriere Hospital worked for two hours trying to save Diana, performing internal and external cardiac massage to get her heart pumping again.
The news publication added her left pulmonary vein sustained a major wound, causing internal bleeding. She was later pronounced dead.
Gourmelon still wonders what might have caused Diana’s car to crash that night.
“For me, yes, it was an accident,” he said. “Now, the cause, the reason for the accident is something else.”
While there have been many conspiracy theories over the years surrounding Diana’s sudden death, her biographer Andrew Morton told Fox News in July the cause of the deadly accident is a simple one.
“Well, I think the paparazzi followed her all of her adult life, so they contributed to her death,” he said. “[But] it wasn’t their fault. It was the fact that she was being driven too fast… by a man who was found with drugs and drink. It’s the banality of her death which I think most people can’t come to terms with.”