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LONDON, ENGLAND (CBSMiami) – A French ER doctor was first on-the-scene to help Princess Diana after the crash in a Paris tunnel linking him forever to one of the most tragic moments in royal history.

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Thursday marks 20 years since Princess Diana was killed in the crash but for Doctor Frederic Mailliez – the memory is vivid.

Doctor Mailliez, who was off-duty at the time, saw smoke then the mangled Mercedes as he drove into the Pont D’Alma tunnel that August night in 1997. He arrived just seconds after the crash and counted four victims. Only one man and a woman were still alive.

“Each time I drive this tunnel, each time I come and I walk here, it is still quite vivid and my memory, the image, are printed in my memory,” said Mailliez.

The doctor said Princess Diana was clearly in pain. He grabbed his resuscitator to help her breathe.

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“She reacted with her arms. She was a bit more conscious, but no words,” said Mailliez.

The princess never spoke, but he did. He reassured her an ambulance was on the way and everything would be okay.

“I hope that my words were the last words she could hear and that comforted her a little bit, and that she felt a little bit more peaceful,” said Mailliez.

When asked if he believes he was put in that tunnel for a purpose, Mailliez said, “I don’t really believe in destiny, but still, I’m an emergency physician. I speak English. I arrived 30 seconds after the accident. There is quite a strange coincidence.”

Doctor Mailliez saw the paparazzi, but it wasn’t until the next morning – when he turned on the TV that he learned the woman he helped was Princess Diana.

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After the deadly crash, many blamed the paparazzi. Doctor Mailliez said they never blocked him from doing his job.