Twenty years ago today, Princess Diana passed away after a deadly car accident in Paris.
After remaining silent for two decades, Xavier Gourmelon, the firefighter who is known for aiding Diana at the scene of the crash, is finally speaking out about that tragic night.
Xavier told The Sun, "The car was in a mess and we just dealt with it like any road accident. We got straight to work to see who needed help and who was alive.”
After her driver lost control of the car in a tunnel and hit a pillar, Xavier rushed to the scene. He said, "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.”
At first glance, Gourmelon only noticed that Princess Di "had a slight injury to her right shoulder” and didn’t see any “blood on her at all." What was her first reaction? He claimed, "Diana said to me, 'My God, what’s happened?’”
He went on to say, "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.” Shortly after, she "stopped breathing" and he had to act quickly, saying, "I massaged her heart and a few seconds later she started breathing again. It was a relief, of course, because as a first responder, you want to save lives — and that’s what I thought I had done.”
Reflecting on the tragedy, Gourmelon 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."