Princess Diana cried, “Oh my God, oh my God,” as she lay in the smoking wreckage of the car, according to one of the first witnesses to reach the crash site in the Paris tunnel, the inquest into her death heard.
The evidence contradicts earlier suggestions that the princess was never conscious enough to speak after the crash.
Damian Dalby, a volunteer fireman travelling to Paris with his brother and friends, told the London [Images] high court through video-conferencing on Thursday that when he first saw the car in the Pont de l’Alma underpass, there were people around it taking photographs.
He ran to the car, and found the rear right-hand door open and a photographer close by — though no attempt was made to block his efforts to help.
He said he heard the the lady in the car saying, “Oh my God, oh my God.”
Dalby said as he got out of his car, he had seen a medical emergency vehicle, but when he reached the crash site nobody was there.
Dalby’s brother Sebastien Pennequin said he had helped police push photographers back.
“They continued taking photographs, it was then I spoke to them telling them to stop,” he said.
Their friend Sebastien Masseron said the crash happened just before they arrived. “There were no other vehicles in that part of the tunnel. There was however people around the vehicle,” Masseron said.
Earlier the evidence of another French witness Jacques Morel was questioned.
He claimed that he saw a line of 10 to 12 photographers and a man with a video camera inside the tunnel before the crash, waiting for Diana’s car to arrive, the Guardian reported.
In an unpublished book he suggests the crash was a photo opportunity that went horribly wrong, when the paparazzi planned to stop the car so they could snap Diana and Dodi Fayed.