Diana's bodyguard returns to Britain
October 3, 1997
Web posted at: 5:09 p.m. EDT (2109 GMT)
LONDON (CNN) - Trevor Rees-Jones, the only survivor of the fatal accident in Paris that killed Princess Diana, flew home to a secret location in Britain Friday after spending a month in a Paris hospital.
The 29-year-old bodyguard arrived in Britain aboard a helicopter owned by his employer, Mohammed Al Fayed, the father of Dodi Fayed, Diana's companion who was also killed in the crash.
The media were not told where the helicopter landed
and Al Fayed issued a statement making clear that Rees-Jones'
whereabouts would be secret.
"Trevor Rees-Jones is recuperating from grave injuries," the statement said. "He needs peace and quiet."
Rees-Jones, wearing a red T-shirt and blue baseball cap, was flown by helicopter from the roof of the hospital to Issy-Les-Moulineaux airport in southwest Paris.
With his left forearm in a cast, Rees-Jones appeared to be unsteady as he walked to Al Fayed's green and gold helicopter. His parents boarded the helicopter with him.
His hospital stay included undergoing a 10-hour operation to repair injuries to his face from the high-speed crash August 31. Doctors said he has been making a normal recovery.
Because he is a witness and not a suspect in the investigation, Rees-Jones is not required to remain in France. French investigators may travel to Britain to interview him further.
Rees-Jones, who can whisper and respond in writing to questions, was interviewed Thursday by members of the French police brigade.
Sources in the Palace of Justice said he remembered a few more details about the night of the accident, including leaving the Ritz Hotel where the princess and Fayed had dined. He also remembered putting on his seat belt, and said he could remember no unusual behavior from driver Henri Paul.
However, he still could not remember the crash itself.
None of the other three in the Mercedes was wearing a seat belt. Rees-Jones, in the front passenger seat, was also protected by an air bag when the car slammed into a concrete post at high speed in a tunnel on a Paris expressway near the River Seine.
Meanwhile, investigators said they were concentrating on reports that a second car might have been involved in the fatal crash.
They are investigating the possibility that the Mercedes may have hit or swerved to avoid the car in the tunnel. Sources say that paint traces on the Mercedes could have come from hitting a white car, not a red one as reported earlier.
Sources said traces of paint had been found on the wreckage of the Mercedes, which suggest that a Fiat Uno may have hit the car. Previously, investigators had said they also found shards of a taillight cover that belonged to a Fiat.
Correspondent Brent Sadler and Reuters contributed to this report.