Co-editors: Seán Mac Mathúna • John Heathcote
Consulting editor: Themistocles Hoetis
Field Correspondent: Allen Hougland


Eyewitness accounts of the death of Princess Diana
Seán Mac Mathúna, John Heathcote
Visit Mohammed Al-Fayed's website and read his account of Diana's death

Diana crash inquiry report: Final report by Paris prosecutor's office

MI6 and the Princess of Wales by Richard Tomlinson

MI6's plot to assassinate President Milosevic of Serbia in 1992 by Richard Tomlinson

We the People: the Diana forum

Princess Diana outside the Ritz on August 30th

So far in our research, we have found 15 people who were eye witnesses to the crash, some of whom were French citizens, others were tourists from either the US or Britain. Here is a summary of them:

Francoise and Valerie Levistre

On September 4th 1997, Reuters in Paris reported that a French man, Francoise Levistre (or Levi) had told them that he was driving just ahead of Diana's Mercedes when he saw a motorcycle swerve directly in front of the Mercedes, making it lose control. He had come to Paris for an evening out with his wife Valerie, when noticed many headlights bobbing up and down behind him in his rearview mirror as he approached the road tunnel under the Point d'Alma where the Mercedes crashed. From his home Rouen in Normandy, Levi told Reuters:

"I said to my wife that there must be big shot behind us with a police escort. Then l went down into the tunnel and, again in my rearview mirror l saw the car in the middle of the tunnel with the motorcycle on its left, pulling ahead and then swerving to the right directly in front of the car . . . as the motorcycle swerved and before the car lost control, there was a flash of light but then l was out of the tunnel and heard, but did not see the impact . . . l immediately pulled my car over to the curb but my wife said 'Let's get out of here. Its a terror attack' " (Reuters, Paris, Quoted on Internet 4/9/97).

Levi added that there were two people on the motorcycle, and that he did not know if the explosion of light he saw as the motorcycle ran close to the car was a camera flash. Apparently, lawyers for the Al Fayed family told Reuters that Levi had contacted them 4 days earlier with his testimony and spoke to officials at The Ritz Hotel in Paris. They advised him to give the information to the Police which he has done.

Brian Anderson

Brian Anderson, an US businessman from California, was in a Paris taxi near the Point d'Alma just before the crash:

"I noticed one of the motorcycles going and attempting to pass on the left side of the car. In between is like an abutment. The beginning of what eventually begins to become the tunnel.

"I saw the motorcycle get over and begin like he was going through the passing movement . . . I did see motorcycles. Two, three people - one single and one with two people and the one with the two people was the one that actually tried to make, getting between the left hand side.

My attention was drawn away, the cab came to a sudden stop and I saw an object passing in front of us, crossing over. Sparks were flying, there was dust, there was a lot of noise and it happened very quickly and the car came down and rested on its tires. In that instant the horn went off."

Stanley Culbreath

An US tourist who was one of the first to reach the Princess's car described "the unimaginable delay" before anyone tried to free her from the wrecked Mercedes. He said:

"It was at least 15 minutes before an ambulance arrived and the one policeman who was there made no attempt to help anyone who was in that wreck . . . "

Mr. Culbreath had just left the Eiffel Tower after a late-night sightseeing trip with two business companions, Clarence Williams and Mike Williams, when they drove to the entrance of the tunnel:

The front passenger door was thrown open and I could see another man (Trevor Rees-Jones). His face was pushed into the airbag . . . His feet were out of the door and were just touching the floor.

Police finally forced Culbreath and his companions to leave the tunnel. He said:

"It was well over 15 minutes after we stopped and there were no ambulances . . . It was as if those there had decided nothing could be done."

Gary Dean

Gary Dean, said he saw the Mercedes just before it entered the tunnel:

"It was traveling very fast and gave off a whooshing noise as it entered the tunnel as if the driver had hit the clutch but failed to change gear"

Malo France

Malo France, a taxi driver, passed through the eastbound lane of the tunnel with a passenger moments after the accident occurred. He stopped briefly. "It was horrible," he said,

"the worst accident I have ever seen. I made the sign of the cross over my heart. I thought, God save them, and God protect us from these types of accidents. In the front seat there was a man. I also saw a woman with blond hair. She was crying, very loudly. There were two different voices, one a man and one a woman."

Clifford G.

Clifford G., an off-duty chauffeur, was on the Place de la Reine Astrid, a triangular park area near the tunnel entrance. His attention was drawn to the tunnel entrance by the loud whine of an automobile engine. He saw a Mercedes heading towards the tunnel at an estimated speed of more than 60 mph:

"I also saw a big motorcycle pass. I can't tell you how many people were on it. The motorcycle was going fast . . . would put the motorcycle at 30-40 meters behind the Mercedes."

He was later angered by the photographers, in an account he told to investigators:

"I noticed four or five men around the wrecked Mercedes. It was obvious that the four occupants were wounded. There was blood, their bodies were sprawled every which way inside the Mercedes. Yet these men photographed the car and the wounded from every angle. Seeing this spectacle, I shouted,'That's all you can do instead of calling for help?' "

"I went to the passenger in front, who was trying to move," he said. "His mouth and tongue were ripped off. He had passed through the windshield and was trying to get out. I held up his head and told him not to move, to await help."

He then noticed a blond head moving in the back seat, and someone said "that's Lady Di !":

"I understood then who it was. I repeated the same words to this young woman in English. Lady Di tried to speak. She opened her mouth to tell me something but no sound came out. She was bleeding from the forehead and tried to get up."

Thierry H

The witness known as Thierry H claimed he saw a car driven by paparazzi blocking Diana's Mercedes exit from a road which would have avoided the route through the Point d'Alma tunnel (although it is unclear how he knew that they were paparazzi). He had been driving in the right lane of the express road near the Alexander III Bridge, approximately 800 meters before the Alma tunnel. He was

"Passed by a vehicle moving at a very high speed. I estimated its speed at about 75 mph to 80 mph. It was a powerful black car, I think a Mercedes... This car was clearly being pursued by several motorcycles, I would say four to six of them. Some were mounted by two riders. These motorcycles were tailing the vehicle and some tried to pull up alongside it."

Gary Hunter

Gary Hunter, a London lawyer, said he saw two escaping cars from the window of his third-floor hotel room, less than 100 yards from the Alma tunnel. His account was cited on September 22, 1997, by Agence-France-Presse. Hunter, 41, a British lawyer in Paris for his wife's birthday: He is quoted as saying:

"I was in my hotel room overlooking the tunnel and heard a car speeding from that direction . . . I jumped up and saw a small dark-coloured car drive up the street with another car practically stuck to it's back bumper . . . the first car looked like a Fiat Uno or a Renault Clio. The white car was a Mercedes . . . they both spun round together and sped off down the street at a suicidal pace, more than 100 miles per hour . . . I thought it was very strange that they were travelling so dangerously close to each other . . . their behaviour made me wonder exactly what they had been up to in the tunnel when the crash happened"

"My own feeling is that these were people in a hurry not to be there. I am confident that the car was getting off the scene it looked quite sinister."

He has given a detailed account of the crash to lawyers for Mohammed Al Fayed. He said he had been told his evidence had been passed to French police.

Gaelle L.

"As we entered the Alma tunnel, we heard a loud noise of screeching tires. At that moment, in the opposite lane, we saw a large car approaching at high speed. This car swerved to the left, then went back to the right and crashed into the wall with its horn blaring. I should note that in front of this car, there was another, smaller car. I think this vehicle was black, but I'm not sure. Behind the big car there was a large motorcycle. I can't be sure how many riders were on it."

Gaelle and her boyfriend, Benoit B., parked outside the tunnel and ran into the tunnel to flag down oncoming vehicles. She borrowed a cell phone and called French fire department's specialized emergency squad. The call was received at 12:26 a.m.

Joanna Luz

"It was a blue Mercedes and the airbag was on the passenger side, for sure, and the horn, right after the huge explosion there was a horn - for about two minutes and I think that was the driver up against the steering wheel."

Tom Richardson

"So I and another gentleman ran into the tunnel to see if we could help anybody get out of the car and a gentleman at the car, at the scene, was starting to run towards us out of the tunnel like the car was about to explode, so we turned and ran out of the tunnel . . .

About fifteen seconds later we turned around . . . and the paparazzi snapping off pictures".

Mike Walker

"Well, we was coming from the Eiffel Tower, and we were coming down, he was coming one way and we were coming down the hill, and the traffic, there was a little traffic so it was going slow there because the accident had just happened and when we got there we seen either the car had flipped over... and it looked like it had hit another car; looked like it had evidently hit the wall or something."

Michael Solomon

Diana and Dodi Fayed were motionless in the back seat of the crushed vehicle, Michael Solomon, an American tourist, commented that Diana "was just unconscious":

"When I walked up to the car, I was extremely nervous. I had heard an explosion, and the first thing that came to my mind was, 'This was a bomb, a terrorist attack'."

Brenda Wells

In 1997 it was reported that the whereabouts of a British secretary from London driving in the tunnel at the time of Diana's crash were "shrouded in mystery". It was claimed that she had "disappeared" from her flat in Champigny sur Marne shortly after giving her statement to the French police after she and her husband had been told to go into hiding and not to speak about what she had seen (Sunday Mirror, 9th November 1997). Londoner Brenda Wells, 40, had told police how she was forced off the road by a motorbike following Diana's Mercedes at high speed. She also saw a dark-coloured car - possibly the Fiat Uno and in her statement she claims:

'After a party with my friends, I was returning to my home. A motorbike with two men forced me off the road. It was following a big car. Afterwards in the tunnel there were very strong lights like flashes. After that, a black car arrived. The big car had come off the road. I stopped and five or six motorbikes arrived and started taking photographs.

They were crying 'It's Diana' Brenda's evidence calls into question initial claims that pursuing paparazzi were to blame. She makes the first mention of photographers after the accident when 'five or six' paparazzi arrived and took pictures. But last night, despite extensive inquiries in the Paris suburb of Champignay sur Marne where she told police she lived, Brenda could not be located."

Anonymous Eye Witness Report

There were also reports of a second car, just ahead of Diana's, at the time of the crash, and that this may be a crucial factor in her death.

PARIS/WIESBADEN, Sept. 9th 1997 (EIRNS)--There are two separate witnesses, both of whom choose to remain anonymous, who are quoted by the newspaper Journal du Dimanche, saying that a car driving IN FRONT OF, the Mercedes S280, forced the Mercedes to start braking, as it entered the tunnel. The first witness says:
"The Mercedes was driving on the right hand, shortly before the entry of the tunnel, preceded by a dark-colored automobile, of which make I cannot say. This car clearly was attempting to force the Mercedes to brake . . . The driver of the Mercedes veered into the left-hand lane, and then entered the tunnel.''

The witness said that what drew his attention to the scene, was the loud sound of the Mercedes' gears being suddenly lowered.

The other witness, who was walking along the riverside, said he was surprised by the "sound of a motor humming very loudly.'' He said he saw a Mercedes:

"travelling behind another automobile. I believe that the reason the Mercedes accelerated so suddenly, was to try to veer into the left lane, and pass that car.''

This raises the possibility, or perhaps probability, that Mercedes driver Henri Paul thought, or was convinced, that that automobile was driven by people who had the intent of killing his passengers, and therefore, decided to pass that car at any cost, by suddenly massively accelerating, from the 100 kilometers per hour he was driving just before the tunnel, to the 150 kph in the tunnel. Also noteworthy, is the Journal du Dimanche report, that there are 16 meters of skid marks left by the Mercedes' tires.

Police experts say they are unable, at the present time, to attribute a cause to the sudden braking.

Source: Journal du Dimanche, September 7th, 1997

Now that the French authorities have completed their investigation, the way is now open for the British authorities to have a proper inquest in the deaths of Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed. We certainly believe that if all the available evidence was presented and evidence taken from witnesses as it presently stands, then the only conclusion a jury would come to is that they were unlawfully killed or possibly, murdered. This, however, considering the secrecy surrounding the intelligence services in Britain and the royal family, is highly unlikely.

 © 2000