It was August 31, 1997. Princess Diana and her companion, Dodi Fayed, were leaving a romantic dinner at The Hotel Ritz-Paris when they entered a black Mercedes sedan. Together with a bodyguard, they departed from the hotel.
While en route to Dodi’s father’s apartment there in Paris, there was a tragic accident. The driver of the car, Henri Paul, lost control of the vehicle at 65 mph. The car spun two whole times before slamming headfirst into the tunnel's support pillars and then ricocheting into the wall of the tunnel.
Witnesses of the crash have shared that “the sedan was swarmed by photographers on motorcycles” just moments before entering the tunnel. Immediately after the crash, the photographers and witnesses rushed to the scene. Police arrived nearly ten minutes after the crash.
When they arrived, they cleared all paparazzi and even took five photographers into custody. Diana was conscious when the police got to her; they said she appeared to have few injuries but seemed shaken. The doctor that first saw her said her first words were, “Oh, my God." It took nearly 40 minutes to remove Diana from the car after the crash and then she immediately went into cardiac arrest. She was then moved into the ambulance and transformed to Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital. Meanwhile, Dodi and Henri were pronounced dead at the scene.
With Diana in the hospital, doctors tried to save her, but her internal injuries were just too severe; her heart was dislodged and moved to the right, which tore her pulmonary vein. She was pronounced dead by the anesthesiologist at six a.m.
In the short time between when she was taken to the hospital and pronounced dead, one man had some pretty significant alone-time with the princess. Colin Tebbutt, one of Princess Di’s two trusted drivers, came to visit the princess. Colin stared at the princess as she lay on the hospital bed. Completely hopeless, he wondered what the future would look like without the beloved Princess Diana.
That’s when something spectacular happened. Colin was staring at her when her eyelashes started fluttering and her hair began moving. Colin thought, “God she’s alive! She’s okay!” Seconds later, reality hit him and he realized that his eyes were playing tricks on him from the fans that were blowing in the room. In that moment, he felt the true weight of hopelessness.
Sadly, Princess Diana died and left behind a world that loved her. Her body was transported back to England by her ex-husband and her two sisters. Her life will forever be cherished, especially to those who knew her best and loved her most.