EMT Who Was The First To Respond To Princess Diana’s Fatal Accident Breaks His Silence

Updated November 14, 2017

The memory of Princess Diana still lives on with so many and her death is a reminder of a life taken too soon in such a tragic way.

If you recall, Princess Diana died in a car crash that resulted from the pursuit of paparazzi. A first responder who was on the scene and helped Diana that day has finally spoken out about the tragedy, 20 years later.

French firefighter Xavier Gourmelon was called to the scene to help the victims in the accident, not realizing initially that it was Princess Diana. He helped the woman in the back seat, climbing in to assist. Gourmelon told The Sun, “She was moving very slightly and I could see she was alive. I could see she had a slight injury to her right shoulder but, other than that, there was nothing significant. There was no blood on her at all.”

He further explained his treatment, noting: “I massaged her heart and a few seconds later she was 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.”

When she was put in the ambulance and prepared to be taken to the hospital, one of Gourmelon’s fellow firefighters told him it was Princess Diana. He explained, “I was so shocked. I knew who she was, but don’t follow British royalty closely. I went to the ambulance and looked in and that’s when I recognized her.”

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While Gourmelon believed the princess would live, he didn’t know about her significant internal injuries. He explained, “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.”

Gourmelon further noted why he has taken so long to explain his involvement on the scene, believing it was best not to speak up until he had retired from the force.

He recalled: “I held her hand and told her to be calm and keep still. I said I was there to help and reassured her. She said, ‘My God, what’s happened?’”

Further, he explained, “I can still picture the whole scene. It’s something I’ll never forget and that I always think about at this time of year. [T]he whole episode is still very much in my mind. And the memory of that night will stay with me forever.”

One commenter on the People magazine Facebook coverage of this story remarked: “I’ve read several books and in them, it was internal damage, her heart had been displaced, and other issues that killed her. Its ‘rapid deceleration,’ no seatbelt, high speed, collision with pillar. She must have slammed into what was in front of her at an amazing force.”

Others added: “Most likely internal bleeding, too much blood loss before she got to the hospital, so sad” and “They also gave her some medicine without the knowledge that she had internal bleeding, causing her to bleed out.”