road accident causing the death of the British princess
In the early hours of 31 August 1997, Diana, Princess of Wales died in hospital after being injured in a motor vehicle accident in a road tunnel in Paris. Her partner, Dodi Fayed, and the driver of the Mercedes-Benz W140, Henri Paul, were pronounced dead at the scene. Their bodyguard, Trevor Rees-Jones, survived with serious injuries.
Some media claimed the erratic behaviour of paparazzi following the car, as reported by the BBC, had contributed to the crash. In 1999, a French investigation found that Paul, who lost control of the vehicle at high speed while intoxicated and under the effects of prescription drugs, was solely responsible for the crash. He was the deputy head of security at the Hôtel Ritz and had earlier goaded paparazzi waiting for Diana and Fayed outside the hotel. Anti-depressants and traces of an anti-psychotic in his blood may have worsened Paul's inebriation. No evidence was found that paparazzi were near the car when it crashed. In 2008, the jury at a British inquest returned a verdict of unlawful killing through grossly negligent driving by Paul and following vehicles. It was also found that none of the occupants of the car were wearing a seat belt.Diana was 36 years old when she died. Her death caused an unprecedented outpouring of grief in the United Kingdom and worldwide, and her funeral was watched by an estimated 2.5 billion people. The Royal Family were criticised in the press for their reaction to Diana's death. Public interest in Diana has remained high and she has retained regular press coverage in the years after her death.
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