Fire Sergeant Xavier Gourmelon is quoted as saying in US publication Globe that he was one of the first to attend the scene of the shocking crash in a Parisian tunnel.
‘To be honest, I thought she would live,’ he remembers of the late princess’ injuries, which he says at first appeared relatively light. ‘As far as I knew, when she was put in the ambulance she was alive – and I expected her to live!’
The trained paramedic is quoted in the publication as saying that the much-loved royal’s final words were, ‘Oh my God, what’s happened?’
Gourmelon says he was shocked to learn that the princess later died, initially believing that her injuries were ‘nothing insignificant’.
‘I could see she had a slight shoulder injury to her right shoulder, but other than that there was nothing significant – there was no blood on her art all.
‘I tried to calm her… she was moving her left arm which was free, but her right was trapped. I held her hand.’
When he and a doctor removed Diana from the wreckage, they needed to restart her heart.
‘At that moment the doctor told us her heart had stopped. So we started giving her heart massage, two of us, and her heart started beating almost immediately.
‘We put her in the ambulance.’
While an investigation into the crash found that the princess – who was not wearing a seatbelt when her speeding limo came to grief – died of her injuries, conspiracy theories continue to circulate that she was murdered. Fuel will be added by claims she did not seem fatally injured when she was removed from the scene.
Diana's son Prince Harry has said of the claims surrounding her death, ‘… whatever happened in that tunnel, you know, no one will ever know.’