Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

'Photographers Were on Di's Car' Witnesses Tell Inquest of Arrival at Crash Scene

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

'Photographers Were on Di's Car' Witnesses Tell Inquest of Arrival at Crash Scene

Article excerpt

Byline: By Alison Kershaw

WITNESSES to the immediate aftermath of the crash which killed Diana, Princess of Wales yesterday gave their accounts of the scene.

Ana Simao said photographers were "on the car" as she and Antonio Lopes-Borges, among the first to find the crashed Mercedes in the Pont de l'Alma tunnel shortly after midnight on August 31, 1997, arrived at the scene.

They had been travelling from Mr Lopes-Borges brother's home in the Opera district of Paris to his home in Boulogne, when they came across the accident.

Speaking via videolink from the French Court of Appeal in Paris, the couple separately recounted their evidence to the inquest jury, sitting in Court 73 at the Royal Courts of Justice in central London.

Ms Simao, told the jury: "I thought it was a movie, that they were filming a movie."

Describing the scene, she added: "The klaxon was noisy, but also the windows were broken and the air bags were out. Also, there was traffic from the other lane. Our lane was stopped but the other lane was not stopped so there was some traffic."

She said that "young people" arriving from the other lane, tried to open the doors to the car.

Both were questioned over the presence of photographers in the tunnel. Ms Simao said she saw two photographers at the site. When asked how close to the car they were, she replied: "They were on the car."

Mr Lopes-Borges, a Portuguese national living in France, said he remembered seeing one, but that another arrived later.

"The same as the other, he took pictures and after taking pictures, I don't remember if it was the first or the second one, but he took his cellphone and called somebody."

Asked by Edmund Lawson QC, for the Metropolitan Police if these photographers did anything to help those in the crashed car, Mr Lopes-Borges replied: "No."

The couple also described a man coming towards them in the tunnel, telling them to reverse their car because there might be an explosion. …

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