The firefighter who tried to save Princess Diana on the day of her fatal car crash has spoken out for the first time about the chilling experience, RadarOnline.com has learned.
“The car was in a mess and we just dealt with it like any road accident,” Xavier Gourmelon told The Sun. “We got straight to work to see who needed help and who was alive. Diana said to me, ‘My God, what’s happened?’”
Claiming that he was the one to pull Diana out of the Mercedes after the brutal collision, Gourmelon said the royal suffered cardiac arrest moments after the incident and he was able to successfully resuscitate her. Unfortunately, it was not enough, as she died at the hospital soon after.
As Radar readers know, Diana was just 36 when she was killed in a crash inside Paris’ Pont de l’Alma tunnel, 20 years ago today.
“I massaged her heart and a few seconds later she started breathing again,” he said. “It was a relief of course because, as a first responder, you want to save lives — and that’s what I thought I had done. To be honest I thought she would live. As far as I knew when she was in the ambulance she was alive and I expected her to live.”
In a new documentary, Lady Di’s sons, Prince William and Prince Harry also spoke out about the incident, saying they were aware that she was alive after the crash and that the photographers that could have helped her chose to take photos instead.
“One of the hardest things to come to terms with,” Harry said, “is the fact that the people who chased her into the tunnel were the same people that were taking photographs of her while she was still dying on the back seat of the car. William and I know that, we have been told that numerous times by people who know that was the case. She had quite a severe head injury but was still very much alive on the back seat and those who caused the accident instead of helping were taking photographs of her dying. And then those photographs made their way back to news desks in this country.”
“The woman, who I later found out was Princess Diana, was on the floor in the back,” continued Gourmelon, claiming he did not recognize the royal at the time of the incident. “She was moving very slightly and I could see she was alive. I could see she had a slight injury to her right shoulder but other than that, there was nothing significant. There was no blood on her at all.”
During the interview, Gourmelon said he remembers trying to calm down Diana’s bodyguard, Trevor Rees-Jones, who was sitting in the front seat of the car during the accident. “He kept asking for the princess, saying, ‘Where is she? Where is she?’ ” he said. “But my team told him to keep calm and not speak. I told him that none of my men spoke English so it was better for him to keep still and not move. I told him not to worry we were looking after everyone.”
“I found out later she had died in hospital,” said Gourmelon. “It was very upsetting.”
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