Princess Diana heartbreaking FINAL WORDS: Firefighter who tried to save her reveals all
Princess Diana’s dying words pronounced at the crash scene have been revealed by the firefighter who tried to save her life on this day, 21 years ago.
The memory of the wounded princess still echoes in the mind of Xavier Gourmelon, one of the first members of the emergency services to rush at the tunnel after the car Diana was in crashed into its 13th pillar at 120mph.
The firefighter, who was the duty officer at the nearby Malar fire station on August 31 1997, opened up on the heartbreaking last moments he shared with the People’s Princess.
Mr Gourmelon, now 50, recalled the few words the shocked princess was able to tell him before her heart collapsed.
According to the firefighter, during her last moments, Diana said: “My God, what’s happened?”
It’s something I’ll never forget and that I always think about at this time of year
Xavier Gourmelon, firefighter
Mr Gourmelon, now 50, confessed he had no idea who the people involved in the crash were when he arrived at the Parisian Pont de l’Alma tunnel.
He said: “The car was in a mess and we just dealt with it like any road accident.
“For me this was simply a banal traffic accident, one of many that emergency services have to deal with and it was the usual causes, speed and a drunk driver.
“We were very close and it took less than three minutes to reach it.
“My 10-man team was in two trucks and we were first to arrive.”
Princess Diana was sitting in the back seat of a Mercedes S-280 with her partner Dodi Fayed, son of Egyptian billionaire Mohamed Al-Fayed.
Her bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones was sitting in the front, together with driver Henri Paul.
At a first glance, Mr Gourmelon said that, while there was “nothing that could be done” for the already dead driver and the bodyguard reported “severe” injuries, the princess didn’t look badly affected by the incident.
He said: “Mr Fayed was in the back and in a bad condition, he had a cardiac arrest in the car and when he was taken out he was declared dead by a paramedic.
“The woman, who I later found out was Princess Diana, was on the floor in the back.
“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.”
In an attempt to both comfort and help Diana, the firefighter told the princess he was there to “help and reassure her”.
He continued: “I held her hand and told her to be calm and keep still.”
In that moment, Diana spoke to him.
Mr Gourmelon added: “I gave her some oxygen and my team and I stayed by her side as she was taken out of the car.
“It was very quick because we didn’t have to cut any of the wreckage.”
The firefighter confessed he believed she would have survived the tragic night.
But as she was placed on a stretcher, the princess suffered a cardiac arrest and stopped breathing.
Mr Gourmelon himself performed CPR, which brought Diana back to life.
He said: “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 hospital. It was very upsetting.
“I know now that there were serious internal injuries, but the whole episode is still very much in my mind.
“And the memory of that night will stay with me forever.
“I had no idea then that it was Princess Diana.
“It was only when she had been put into the ambulance that one of the paramedics told me it was her.
“I was so shocked. I knew who she was, but don’t follow British royalty closely.
“I went to the ambulance and looked in and that’s when I recognised her.”
Diana was taken to Pitie-Salpetriere hospital.
Despite the paramedics’ efforts, she died at 4am, aged only 36.
Mr Gourmelon, who retired 23 years ago, confessed he is still haunted by the memories of that night.
He said: “I can still picture the whole scene.
“It’s something I’ll never forget and that I always think about at this time of year.”
Source: EXPRESS CO UK