Crucially, Mr Medjahdi said he could see no photographers anyway near the car, despite initial police suspicions that they might have distracted the driver. “I got a complete picture from my side and rear-view mirrors of what was happening beside me. There was no other vehicle in my field of vision. I saw no cars with the Mercedes, no photographers on motorbikes around the car. There was no one,” he said.
—Diana crash witness speaks (ThisIsLondon.com)
I had occasionally caught myself wondering… if the princess’s car were being pursued by paparazzi, where are the photos of the crash? Either they were lousy paparazzi, or the driver had already eluded them. How did the “pursued by paparazzi” meme get started, if the only eyewitness to the crash reports that there were none? It appears simply to be the opinion of Mohamed al-Fayed, father of Dodi Fayed, the princess’s companion who was also killed in the crash:
Early eye-witness accounts broadcast on radio and television around the world portrayed a sickening scene in the Alma Tunnel, with paparazzi swarming around the wreck of the Mercedes, taking pictures moments after the crash, giving no thought to calling the emergency services and obstructing people who had come to give help to those inside the car.
A little googling shows me a news CNN report from 1999 that concludes, “there was no evidence they [photographers] were close to the car when the accident occurred, the report found”. I confess I’m not that interested in royal politics, but I’m surprised that I didn’t know about this alternate story, which isn’t as powerful as the “pursued by photographers on motorbikes” meme.