Dr. Frederic Mailiez didn’t know who Princess Diana was when he saw her unconscious on the floor of the Mercedes-Benz. All he was focused on was trying to save her life.
Twenty-five years later, Dr. Mailliez still remembers the events that occurred in the Alma Tunnel in Paris on August 31st, 1997, and acknowledges that he was one of the last people to see Diana alive.
“I realize my name will always be attached to this night,” Mailiez expressed. “I feel a little bit responsible for her last moments.”
Mailliez told The Associated Press that he was on his way home from a party when he saw the smoking Mercedes that was nearly split in two.
“I walked toward the wreckage. I opened the door, and I looked inside,” he said.
Mailliez recalled: “four people, two of them were apparently dead, no reaction, no breathing, and the two others, on the right side, were living but in severe condition. The front passenger was screaming, he was breathing. He could wait a few minutes. And the female passenger, the young lady, was on her knees on the floor of the Mercedes, she had her head down. She had difficulty breathing. She needed quick assistance.”
He called emergency services and grabbed a respiratory bag from his car.
“She was unconscious,” he continued. “Thanks to my respiratory bag she regained a little bit more energy, but she couldn’t say anything.”
Dr. Mailliez would later find out that the woman he treated was the adored Princess Diana.
“I know it’s surprising, but I didn’t recognize Princess Diana,” he confessed. “I was in the car on the rear sear giving assistance. I realized she was very beautiful, but my attention was so focused on what I had to do to save her life, I didn’t have time to think, who was this woman.”
He recalled seeing camera flashes from the paparazzi as he worked. It was later revealed that Diana’s chauffeur, Henri Paul, was drunk driving and driving at a high speed to escape photographers that were chasing the vehicle.
Mailliez said the paparazzi “didn’t hamper me having access to the victims. …I didn’t ask them for help, but they didn’t interfere with my job.”
Diana was taken to a Paris hospital, where she passed away. Dodi Fayed, who was also in the car, and the driver also passed.
“It was a massive shock to learn that she was Princess Diana, and that she died,” Mailliez continued.
He experienced some negative thoughts after the tragic event. “Did I do everything I could to save her? Did I do correctly my job?” he asked himself. “I checked with my medical professors and I checked with police investigators,” he said, and they all agreed he did all he could.
He said the memories always come back “each time I drive through the Alma Tunnel.”