Princess Diana’s Death: There Was ‘Carnage’ and ‘Chaos’ at the Scene

Princess Diana’s death has had a veil of mystery surrounding it ever since the tragic event occurred. Diana was involved in a terrible car accident that claimed her life just a few hours later at the hospital. Her partner, Dodi Fayed and the driver, Henri Paul, died at the scene.

People have been trying to decide ever since if it was an accident, or really something more. Was it a planned attack? Colin McLaren, a former homicide detective, takes a closer look at the case on the podcast Fatal Voyage: Diana Case Solved. He’s joined by investigative journalists Dylan Howard and Aaron Tinney. The most recent episode called “Witness to the Crash” involves the accounts of witnesses who arrived near the scene just after the crash.

An American couple was in the tunnel shortly after the crash

Princess Diana
Princess Diana | Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

Jack and Robin Firestone, an American couple who traveled to Paris on the same day that Diana landed there as well, came to the Pont de l’Alma tunnel very shortly after Princess Diana’s car accident. There was traffic and the couple was wondering what was going on ahead.  

“The scene is very vivid even after 20 years,” Robin said. “As we entered the tunnel, there was definitely unusual traffic. It was a slowdown. We were trying to peek ahead to see what was coming up, but at the same time, we saw these flashing lights bouncing off of the tiled walls from the interior of the tunnel.”

There was ‘carnage’ and the car was ‘crushed’

“I looked towards the westbound lane and saw this carnage. The metal of the car just crushed like an accordion,” Jack Firestone said. “I noticed that there were — this was very odd — motorcycles parked very neatly on the median strip, maybe about somewhere from six to 10 motorcycles. That really struck me as odd.”

The couple noticed that there was no westbound traffic at all. They did see a few cars on the other side that were parked and had to have passed the accident scene to get to where they were. The windows were tinted and no one could be seen inside. McLaren said that “nowhere in any of the official reports into the crash were there two dark, formal cars that Robin mentioned.”

Members of the paparazzi were taking pictures

Princess Diana
Princess Diana | Anwar Hussein/WireImage

That isn’t all that the Firestones happened to see as they drove past the accident. The members of the paparazzi were there taking photographs up close to the scene itself. “These photographers take photos from every angle, I mean, inside the car, outside the car, then one of them would take a photo reaching with his camera inside the car. Flashbulbs going off a mile a minute it was blinding,” Jack Firestone explained.

The scene was ‘absolute chaos’

The accident scene at that time still wasn’t taped off or properly handled. There were no ambulances yet on the scene either. “At no point, did any of us think that there was anybody in the vehicle at that time because it was just absolute chaos there was no protection of the scene at all,” Robin Firestone said. “We did not see anybody aiding or assisting. There was no ambulance there, there was no police tape closing off that entrance to the tunnel.”

Colin McLaren will continue to break down the case in the next episodes of the podcast.