Car search in Diana inquiry

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The Independent Online
French police plan to interview 40,000 owners of Fiat Unos in an attempt to identify a second car possibly involved in the accident which killed Diana, Princess of Wales, in Paris two months ago.

The car owners, starting with those in the Paris area, will be invited to come to a police station to account for their movements on 31 August, the night the Mercedes carrying Diana's party crashed in a tunnel beneath the Place de L'Alma in central Paris.

A streak of white paint on the left wing of the Mercedes has been identified as coming from a Fiat Uno or one or two other vehicles. Pieces of yellow plastic found near the crash scene have been identified as coming from the rear indicator of a Uno. Forensic experts have narrowed the identity of the possible second car to 40,000 Unos sold in France between 1983 and 1987.

Investigators refuse to say a second car was definitely involved in the accident. But the amount of police time and energy being invested in the search for a Uno suggests this theory is now regarded as, at the very least, extremely plausible.

Investigators believe the Mercedes, travelling at 90-100mph to escape press photographers, may have struck the Fiat a glancing blow just before entering the under-pass. It remains unclear what happened to the hypothetical Fiat after the accident. The driver, if identified, would face criminal charges for leaving the scene of a crash and failing to assist lives in danger.