San Diego woman shares her memories of the night Princess Diana died

Posted at 12:46 PM, Aug 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-11 21:48:22-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A San Diego woman in the tunnel the night Princess Diana was killed in a Paris car crash is recounting the terrible moments, as the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana’s death approaches.

“I was crossing the street adjacent to the tunnel, and I heard a really long screech and a crash and a really short screech and a crash,” Joanna Luz DaCosta told 10News.

Da Costa ran into the tunnel to help.

“I noticed it was coming from inside the tunnel. So I dropped down.. and I stopped the first car because I looked to my right I saw there was a Mercedes that was faced towards me. I knew it had been had in a crash. I was trying to stop the incoming cars going into the tunnel from hitting the car,” Da Costa said.

She didn’t know it at the time, but inside the crashed Mercedes Benz were Princess Diana, her boyfriend Dodi Al Fayed, his bodyguard, Trevor Rees-Jones, and driver Henri Paul.

Two men on a motorcycle zoomed past her towards the crashed Mercedes. One had a big camera, Da Costa said.

“I was just watching this where they were trying to take pictures inside the Mercedes, and this gentleman was trying to keep them out and we have action on the other side where they were working on somebody in the back, and now we know that was her and Dodi,” Da Costa said.

There were seven to ten paparazzi there, she said.

“It became tense right away,” Da Costa said.

“The driver, the horn sounded right when the impact happened, so the driver fell on the horn. And they lifted him off the horn. So the horn was going off for about two whole minutes and it was a numbing sound,” Da Costa said.

“The bodyguard kind of had his two feet on the ground, and he had his hand kind of rolling his head,” Da Costa said.

Da Costa waited until paramedics showed up, about 20-minutes, then left. Hours later, she turned on the TV and saw it was Princess Diana in the crash.

“I think about it. When I see stories about her or anything about her it brings me right back to this night, right back into this tunnel,” Da Costa said.