Diana Paris crash car ‘al­ready a death trap’

Daily Mail - - News - From Peter Allen in Paris

THE Mercedes in which Princess Diana was driven to her death was a danger­ous ‘rebuilt wreck’ but con­cerns about its safety were ig­nored, French TV claimed last night.

One warn­ing that the car was not fit to be on the road and ‘didn’t hold’ if driven at more than 37mph came only two months be­fore the fa­tal high-speed ac­ci­dent in Paris on Au­gust 31, 1997.

The Mercedes-Benz S280 pool car was pro­vided by the Paris Ritz Ho­tel, owned by busi­ness­man Mo­hamed Fayed, whose son was Diana’s lover Dodi Fayed. The car was owned by Etoile Limousines, which pro­vided chauf­feurs and cars to the Ritz.

Pas­cal Rostain, a Paris pho­tog­ra­pher, yes­ter­day told a French ra­dio sta­tion that the ‘hugely danger­ous’ car had been stolen and driven into the ground ear­lier in the year.

‘This Ritz car was a wreck. It had crashed be­fore, and been rolled over sev­eral times,’ he said.

The car was ready to be bro­ken up, but per­mis­sion was then given to ‘re­make’ it, the pho­tog­ra­pher claimed.

Mr Rostain said a friend at the Ritz, iden­ti­fied as a driver called Karim, took the Mercedes for a spin ear­lier in 1997 and warned se­nior staff to get rid of it, say­ing it lost its road hold­ing abil­i­ties at more than 37mph. Mr Ros- tain is the co-au­thor of a book called Who Killed Lady Di?, and the tragedy was the sub­ject of a doc­u­men­tary broad­cast last night on the French TV chan­nel M6.

In 2008 a Bri­tish jury de­liv­ered an in­quest verdict of un­law­ful killing caused by Diana’s ‘grossly neg­li­gent’ chauf­feur Henri Paul, who lost con­trol as he raced at up to 120mph through the Alma Tun­nel while drunk and on anti-de­pres­sants, and try­ing to get away from pur­su­ing pho­tog­ra­phers.

A Scot­land Yard re­port in 2006 con­cluded ‘there were no me­chan­i­cal is­sues with the car that could have caused or contributed to the crash’.

Prince Harry ques­tioned whether his mother Diana ‘was re­ally dead’ af­ter the Queen and other se­nior royals in­sisted on car­ry­ing on as nor­mal the morn­ing af­ter the tragedy.

The rev­e­la­tion by Diana’s bi­og­ra­pher Tina Brown sug­gests that the Royal Fam­ily’s at­tempts to ‘do as they had al­ways done’ left her youngest son, then aged just 12, be­wil­dered.

She said: ‘Prince Harry ac­tu­ally asked his fa­ther, “Is it true that Mummy’s dead?” ’ Her claim was aired last night in Chan­nel doc­u­men­tary Diana: 7 Days That Shook The Wind­sors.

Above: The re­mains of the Mercedes Inset: Diana on the night of the tragedy

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