It’s been 20 years since the tragic death of Princess Diana took the world by surprise. While many friends, family members and fans took to Twitter yesterday to honor her memory, one of the French firefighters who responded to the fiery car crash revealed the princess’s final words in an exclusive interview with The Sun.
In his first newspaper interview about the 1997 tragedy, Xavier Gourmelon, now 50, the firefighter who attempted to save Princess Diana’s life after his team responded to the crash, recalled that he truly believed the princess was going to survive. Gourmelon and his team arrived at the site of the crashed Mercedes to find Diana, her bodyguard, her driver and her lover, Dodi Fayed, trapped in the wrecked car. “We dealt with it like any other road accident,” Gourmelon told The Sun. He explained that he wanted to tell his story now because he’s no longer a member of the fire service, which is a faction of the French military.
According to Gourmelon’s account of the night, Diana was lying in the back of the car, conscious but “moving very slightly.” He pulled her out of the car but didn’t see any significant signs of injury. In a truly heartbreaking moment, Diana then asked him, “My God, what’s happened?”
Gourmelon says he comforted her and gave her oxygen to help her calm down before she went into cardiac arrest and stopped breathing. He told The Sun he immediately resuscitated her and thought she was going to make it, but he had no idea he was helping the Princess of Wales until she was put into an ambulance.
“The memory of that night will stay with me forever,” Gourmelon said. He’s not alone. It’s a night many of us will never forget — the passing of the beloved Princess Diana.