‘The in­jury Diana suf­fered was so rare – I’ve never seen an­other one like it’

Prima (UK) - - Fascinating Lives -

One of Dr Shep­herd’s sad­dest and most high-pro­file jobs was the pub­lic in­quiry into the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, eight years af­ter she was killed in a car ac­ci­dent in Paris.

‘It was an hon­our to be asked to as­sist such an im­por­tant in­quiry, but I also re­alised what a cru­cial job this was, which meant I was un­der a lot of pres­sure. It was very tech­ni­cal in places, work­ing out what hap­pened in the mi­cro-sec­onds of the crash and link­ing this with her in­juries. Diana suf­fered a tiny tear in a vein in one of her lungs that was bleed­ing very slowly. She lost con­scious­ness and was taken by am­bu­lance to the hos­pi­tal where sur­geons iden­ti­fied the vein and re­paired it; sadly, it was too late. The in­jury she suf­fered was so rare that I’ve never seen an­other ex­am­ple in my ca­reer. It was a small in­jury in the wrong place, which was caused by her cat­a­pult­ing for­ward from the back seat. It’s sad to think that had she fas­tened her seat­belt, she would prob­a­bly have only suf­fered a black eye and had her arm in a sling – and would have been at her sons’ wed­dings.’

• Un­nat­u­ral Causes by Dr Richard Shep­herd (Michael Joseph) is out now

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