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'Diana was alive, eyes open'

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2007 1:53 am    Post subject: 'Diana was alive, eyes open' Reply with quote

'Diana was alive, eyes open',22049,22606740-5006003,00.html

By John Bingham and Helen William
October 18, 2007 12:00am

THE last moments of Princess Diana alive have been dramatically described today: a witness at her inquest has told how she opened her eyes after the crash in her Mercedes minutes after the crash which claimed her life.

Chauffeur Eric Lifalandry said he saw a woman alive in the back of the mangled car in the Pont de l'Alma underpass in Paris 10 years ago.

The jury sitting at the High Court in London also heard evidence that the paparazzi who followed Diana's car that night believed she was poised to reveal she was pregnant or getting engaged to lover Dodi Fayed.

Thierry Orban said he had been asked by his agency to go to Ritz Hotel earlier that night specifically because there were rumours of an imminent announcement.

The jury also heard fresh claims of a possible flash of light in the tunnel moments before the car carrying Diana her lover hit a pillar and spun out of control.

Dodi and the couple's driver Henri Paul were killed instantly while Diana suffered fatal injuries in the crash in the early hours of August 31, 1997.

Lifalandry was among those who was driving past the tunnel at the time and stopped to assist.

As he approached, he saw people tending to the front seat passenger, bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones (now known as Trevor Rees) and a female passenger in the back, although he did not realise it was Diana.

In a police statement, read to the court, he said: "I looked in the back of the car and saw a woman on the floor with her back against the rear right hand door as someone was attending to her.

"I then noticed her open her eyes. I said to myself that she was alive and then went on to the driver."

Photographer Thierry Orban, from the Sygma agency, was not among those who took pictures of the car immediately after the crash as he only arrived later.

The jury heard that he initially received a call between 9pm and 9.30pm on August 30 from his chief editor asking him to go to the Ritz but refused.

"He told me that there were rumours of an announcement that Lady Diana was getting married or having a baby and asked me to go to the Ritz Hotel to take a few photographs of Diana with Dodi al Fayed," he said in a statement read in court.

Dodi's father Mohamed al Fayed believes that Diana and Dodi were not killed in an accident but murdered in an establishment plot because she was pregnant with his child and about to announce their engagement.

Orban was called again after the crash and went to the tunnel instead. He later followed the Princess's ambulance and photographed it when it stopped close opposite the Gare d'Austerlitz, near the Pitie Salpetriere Hospital, as her condition deteriorated.

"It was rocking as if they were doing cardiac massage," he recalled.

American businessman Brian Anderson later gave evidence by video link from the US.

He told the jury he was in a taxi behind Diana's Mercedes and witnessed it crashing.

He claimed he saw motorcyclists "in a swarm" around the car before it entered the tunnel.

He also said there had been a bright flash moments before what sounded like an "explosion" as the car spun around inside the tunnel.

"I saw a flash of light which ... didn't strike me at the time because it was where the illuminations of the boats take place, but a pretty significant flash of light," he said.

"I heard a very loud bang and then our car proceeded to attempt to come to a very quick and abrupt stop."

He then said he saw "an object" spinning in front of him.

"It happened very quickly, I didn't know what it was but I knew that it was a large metal object and when it came to a rest and stopped it was a black Mercedes," he said.

He said the light could have come from the nearby Bateau Mouches pleasure boat pier.

The jury heard that in the transcript of a television interview he gave, he also refers to an "increase in the volume of light".

The court also heard claims of vehicles making off from the scene after the crash.

British lawyer Gary Hunter, who has since died, told police he saw two mystery cars speeding through adjoining streets away from the tunnel.

After hearing the crash from his hotel room, he said he spotted a white Mercedes and a small black car a minute or so later.

"Both vehicles were travelling at inordinate speed," he said.

"The white vehicle was almost touching the rear bumper of the small dark vehicle ... I noticed that the Mercedes was not manoeuvring or signalling to pass the small dark car.

"It was this that made me believe the Mercedes was shielding the rear of the small black car."

Meanwhile Jean Pascal Peyret and his wife Severine, who were in the tunnel when the crash happened, also spoke of a vehicle speeding away - but this time a motorcycle.

Mrs Peyret said: "I quickly understood that the motorcycle could have been implicated in the collision and that its rider was trying to get away from the place."

The inquest was adjourned and continues tomorrow.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2007 1:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As I`ve pointed out in other posts, Channel 4`s documentary "Witnesses in the Tunnel"...these witnesses claimed to be 30 seconds behind the who was around the car just before it crashed? While some of the witnesses who were around the tunnel, or overlooking it, we should consider the posibility that some are plants, including those who gave evidence what they claim to have seen after the crash. There are rather a lot of witnesses considering the time of the crash.

The ambulance took some 90 minutes from leaving the tunnel, until it reached the hospital. According to some witnesses and a picture, the ambulance left the tunnel and stopped a short distance away, this claimed stop does not account for the lost 70 minutes on route to hospital.
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