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USA UK and Malta News
13/11/2007 - 23:07

EditoWeb UK NeWs: Diana doctor 'thought she would survive'

A doctor who was first at the scene of the crash which killed Princess Diana has told her inquest he thought she would survive.

Dr Frederic Mailliez said he was driving through the Pont de l'Alma tunnel in Paris in the early hours of August 31 1997 when he came upon the Princess's crashed car in the opposite carriageway.

Not realising who was inside, he stopped and ran across the tunnel to the smoking wreck to see if he could help.

Via video link from Paris, he told the jury: "I remember the horn making a noise and I remember the front of the car was damaged, the engine almost cut in two parts, that showed me that it was a high-energy accident."

In the the back seat was a woman whom he did not recognise. He only learned that the woman he had battled to save was Diana the next day when he saw the news.

"She was alive," he recalled. "She was moaning, she was breathing but she was really weak, I would say unconscious and weak."

He added that the Princess's face appeared unscarred.

"I do not remember any injury on her forehead," he said. "I just remember a few drops of blood but I would not say a serious injury."

Dr Mailliez said he could immediately tell that two other men in the car - driver Henri Paul and Diana's lover Dodi Fayed - were dead.

Bodyguard Trevor Rees (formerly known as Rees Jones) was alive but very seriously injured in the front passenger seat.

"Obviously he was alive because he was screaming," he said. "He was breathing ... he was alive but very severely injured."

Having worked for the fire brigade as an emergency doctor he was able to call the emergency services dispatch centre directly and give an initial medical assessment.

When the first ambulance arrived he handed over to the medical team and left with a friend who was waiting in his car.

During cross-examination, Richard Keen QC, representing the family of Henri Paul, asked him: "Do you remember saying that you thought the lady you had treated would survive?"

He answered: "Yes, I said that."

But he was not aware of the extent of her internal injuries.

"I did not have any way to make any precise diagnosis," he said. "I did not have the equipment to take the blood pressure so my supposition of diagnosis was the head injury but I had to suspect something serious."

When asked by Michael Mansfield QC, representing Dodi's father Mohamed al Fayed, he agreed that the Harrods owner's son's face had been "peaceful".

Both Mr Mansfield and Mr Keen thanked Dr Mailliez on behalf of their clients for stopping to help.


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