[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 October 2007, 13:53 GMT 14:53 UK
Diana's body 'hidden by Dodi's'
Princess Diana
Princess Diana died in a car crash in Paris in 1997
One of the first people to reach the scene of the crash that killed Princess Diana has relived the horror, at the inquest into her death.

James Huth said he was unable to see the princess because she was trapped so low in the car's footwell and was obscured by Dodi Al Fayed's body.

Mr Huth said he tried to calm the princess's bodyguard, Trevor Rees, who was injured in the car and "panicking".

He spoke via a video-link from Paris, where the crash happened in 1997.

Taking pictures

Mr Huth told the inquest jury sitting at the High Court in London that Mr Rees's jaw was hanging loose.

He said he called the emergency services but told them there were only three people in the car, including one survivor.

I cannot think of why a car driving that fast would have to brake at that point unless there was something in its way
James Huth, witness

Mr Huth, a former dentist turned film-maker, also told the jury he witnessed a paparazzo fighting with a bystander in the Pont de l'Alma tunnel minutes after the crash and before the emergency services arrived.

"The man was trying to catch his camera, he was screaming that he didn't have the right to take pictures," he said.

Mr Huth said he heard the sound of screeching tyres and two distinct smashing sounds while he was sitting in his parents' apartment on the banks of the River Seine, above the Pont de l'Alma Tunnel.

The jury heard how he ran out to help and was at the scene within two minutes.

Cowboy boot

"When I approached the car, there was smoke and the sound of the horn," he said.

"I saw the two air bags that were open. The driver unfortunately had his head inside and it wasn't moving.

Pont de l'Alma tunnel in Paris
The jurors visited the tunnel where the crash occurred

"He was supposedly dead, and this guy was panicking on the right, he had his jaw hanging and he was panicking."

"He was trying to move and I talked to him and told him in French to stay quiet, that it was going to be OK, that people were going to take care of him and he had to just try to be quiet, to calm down."

He said two men approached the car and tried to open the door, but he stopped them.

'Tricky' tunnel

It was then that he looked in the back and saw Mr Al Fayed's body.

"I saw the broken leg, that I remember clearly, of a man in blue jeans I guess, with a double fracture under the knee and a boot like a cowboy's," he said.

"I didn't see what I learned after - that there was another person underneath, the princess."

The High Court heard that by 1997, Mr Huth's family had lived by the tunnel - which he described as "tricky" - for more than 20 years and while they had witnessed many accidents, there had been none like that.

A section from Mr Huth's original police statement was read to the court.

It said: "Having known the location for 20 years, I cannot think of why a car driving that fast would have to brake at that point unless there was something in its way."

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific