Bodyguard put on seat belt just before Diana car crash
September 21, 1997
Web posted at: 11:51 a.m. EDT (1551 GMT)
LONDON (CNN) -- The bodyguard who survived the crash that
killed Princess Diana and two others strapped on his
seat belt moments before the accident, French investigators
A study of pictures taken by photographers during the course
of the night showed that Trevor Rees-Jones did not wear
seat belts when the Mercedes left the Paris Ritz hotel on the
night in question. But later pictures showed
Rees-Jones wearing the belts shortly before the August 31
crash, which also killed Diana's companion Dodi Fayed and the
driver of the car.
Police believe the last-minute action saved his life. None of
the other occupants of the car were wearing seat belts.
Investigators said the evidence suggested that the bodyguard
realized there was serious danger of an accident, either
because of the speed of the car or because of the proximity
of other vehicles.
Rees-Jones, who suffered severe injuries, was interviewed
last Friday by investigators at the hospital but said he
remembered nothing. The last thing he recalled was getting
into the limousine around midnight.
Books of condolence closed
The books of condolence crammed with tributes to Princess
Diana were closed Sunday, three weeks after her death.
Tens of thousands of people have written personal messages
in the books, which were opened to the public on the morning
of Diana's death.
The books have lain open day and night at her former home,
Kensington Palace, for mourners to pay their last respects
The small number that originally were made available was
increased to 43 to cope with the vast queues of mourners,
some of whom waited 12 hours through the night to pay their
Buckingham Palace said the books would be offered to Diana's
family, the Spencers, following their removal from Kensington
Sick children pay tribute at crash site
More than 100 sick children from London hospitals traveled to
the crash site in Paris to lay flowers on Sunday. Diana often
visited the hospitals to meet youngsters.
A convoy of 66 black taxis drove the 126 children to the Pont
de l'Alma bridge along the Seine River where Diana's car
Reuters contributed to this report.