The injuries that Princess Diana sustained in the car accident that took both her life and the life of her friend Dodi Fayed “should not have killed her,” according to a new book from a top U.K. forensic pathologist.
Per Page Six, Dr. Richard Shepherd alleges that Diana’s injury, which was what he called “very tiny,” was a tear in a vein. He claims she died because it was in the “wrong place,” deep within her lung.
Diana and Fayed were involved in a horrific car crash in August 1997 after being chased into the Pont de l’Alma road tunnel in Paris, France, by paparazzi who were documenting their romance. Henri Paul, who drove the car involved in the crash, a Mercedes S280, sped away from photographers in pursuit and crashed into a pillar. USA Today reported it was later revealed that Paul’s blood alcohol level was determined to have been more than three times France’s legal limit.
“Her specific injury is so rare that in my entire career I don’t believe I’ve seen another,” Shepherd claimed in his memoir, where he detailed his work on other stunning U.K. crimes and his claims about the death of Princess Diana, as reported in Sunday’s edition of the Daily Mail.
“Diana’s death is a classic example of the way we say, after almost every day: if only. If only she had hit the seat in the front at a slightly different angle. If only she had been thrown forward 10 mph more slowly,” he stated of the tragic accident.
Shepherd also claimed that if Diana had been wearing a seat belt, she might have survived the impact with “a black eye, fractured ribs, and a broken arm.”
Her bodyguard and the only survivor of the crash, Trevor Rees-Jones, was wearing a seatbelt. Shepherd alleges that Rees-Jones might have put his belt on after seeing how Paul was driving or while in the tunnel before the crash. Shepherd claimed that bodyguards generally do not wear seatbelts.
The Daily Mail reported that the late princess suffered broken bones and a small chest injury, but it was later determined that had a tear in her vein, which bled into her chest and caused her to suffer cardiac arrest.
The accident occurred shortly after midnight. The princess was pronounced dead four short hours later.
Princess Diana’s death at the young age of 36 shocked the world. Her funeral was watched by an estimated 2.5 billion people worldwide, reported PopSugar. Her flag-draped coffin was transported from Kensington Palace to her final resting place at the Spencer family home in Althorp.
She left behind two sons, Princes William and Harry. At the time of her death, she had been divorced just one year from Prince Charles.