The car crash occurred in the tunnel of the Pont Alma bridge in Paris. Lady Di’s lover, Dodi Al-Fayed, and Henri Paul, the driver of the Mercedes S280, were pronounced dead at the crash scene. Diana and Al-Fayed’s bodyguard, Trevor Rees-Jones was the only survivor.
Although the media accused the paparazzi of pursuing the car, an 18-month French judicial inquiry found that the crash was Paul’s fault. He lost control of the car at high speed because he was drunk. Paul was the deputy head of security at the Ritz Hotel. He told the paparazzi to wait outside the hotel. His intoxication may have exacerbated the effects of antidepressants. The investigation concluded that the photographers were not near the car when it crashed.
Since February 1988, Fayed’s father, Mohammed Al-Fayed (the owner of the Ritz Hotel where Paul worked), has claimed that the accident was the result of a conspiracy. He argued that the crash was organized by the British Secret Intelligence Service MI6 on behalf of the Royal Family.
His claims were rejected by the French judicial inquiry, which ended in 2006.
The UK independent inquest into Diana and Al-Fayed’s deaths presided over by Coronel Lord Justice Scott Baker was held in the Royal Courts of Justice in London on 2 October 2007. That was a continuation of the inquest that had begun in 2004.
On 7 April 2008, the jury concluded that Diana and Al-Fayed were the victims of “unlawful killing” by the “grossly negligent driving of the following vehicles and of the Mercedes.”
Additional factors were cited as “the impairment of the judgment of the driver of the Mercedes through alcohol” and “the death of the deceased was caused or contributed to by the fact that the deceased were not wearing a seat belt and by the fact that the Mercedes struck the pillar in the Alma Tunnel rather than colliding with something else.”
President of the Union of Criminalists and Criminologists
Igor M. Matskevich
Translated by Elizaveta Ovchinnikova