( AP ) - A senior accident investigator and another expert cast doubt Thursday on the theory that the high-speed car crash which resulted in Princess Diana's death had been staged.
Anthony Read, a senior accident investigator for the London force, said at an inquest into the deaths of Diana and boyfriend Dodi Fayed that staging such a collision, even under controlled conditions, would have been difficult.
"It really is a nonstarter," Read said. Those involved "in the venture would have to understand and have to have accepted the very real possibility that they would be seriously injured if not killed themselves."
Read was questioned by a London police lawyer, who ridiculed suggestions that Diana's 1997 death was the result of a conspiracy. The lawyer, Richard Horwell, had asked Read to consider the possibility of a murder plot.
On Wednesday, Michael Mansfield, an attorney representing Fayed's father, Mohamed al Fayed, offered a hypothetical scenario in which two cars might have deliberately blocked both westbound lanes inside the Pont d'Alma tunnel, where the couple's car crashed into a concrete pillar on Aug. 31, 1997.
Mansfield based his theory on the testimony of three witnesses who said they saw a car in front of the couple's Mercedes.
London and French police have both blamed the crash on driver Henri Paul, finding that he was driving too fast and was over the legal limit for alcohol.
Al Fayed has claimed that the couple died as a result of a plot directed by Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, and carried out by rogue intelligence agents.
A second expert who examined the crash, Peter Jennings of the private Transport Research Laboratory, said the possibility of engineering a fatal crash of the Mercedes in which Diana rode through the tunnel was far-fetched.
"Whether they will hit the left curb and hit the pillar, which all know was a devastating event, or hit the right curb and hit the wall and slide along it, is not something that you could engineer," he said.
He disputed a suggestion by Ian Croxford, a lawyer representing the driver's family, that the Mercedes may have been nudged to one side after clipping the left rear corner of a slower-moving Fiat Uno.
"You would have to push very, very hard with the Fiat to make much of a difference to the Mercedes. It is a simple matter of the light car will be far more disturbed, or the driver will have to make far more effort to cause a disturbance if he is in a light car," Jennings said.
Skid marks on the road showed no sign of a lateral shove, he said.