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Hospital: It may be weeks before crash survivor can help

Trevor Rees-Jones

Injured man worked for Fayed family

September 2, 1997
Web posted at: 12:24 p.m. EDT (1624 GMT)

PARIS (CNN) -- It may be weeks before the only survivor of the car crash that killed Princess Diana and two other people will be able to answer questions, a hospital spokeswoman said Tuesday.

Bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones, 29, suffered head and lung injuries. He was in intensive care at Pitie Salpetriere Hospital in Paris, his mother and estranged wife at his side. His condition was described as serious but not life-threatening.

Watch an overview, reported by CNN's Siobhan Darrow
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Diana died at the same hospital on Sunday after a vain attempt by doctors to save her life. Her boyfriend Dodi Fayed and the car's driver, Henri Paul, died instantly after the accident in a Paris tunnel.

Rees-Jones is considered the key witness in the crash. Authorities hope he can provide information on to what degree the car was harassed by photographers, how fast it was going and how Paul came to be behind the wheel while drunk.

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'Dodi's shadow'

Described in some news accounts as "Dodi's shadow," Rees-Jones is a former British soldier with commando training and experience in protecting British VIPs.

He is an employee of the Fayed family, as was Paul.

Since her exclusion from the royal family after her divorce from Prince Charles, Diana often shunned Scotland Yard bodyguards and drivers.

Much of the time she drove around London alone, although when with her two sons -- heirs to the British throne -- she was obliged to take protection.

"There's always a risk when the level of security is reduced from royalty protection to the commercial world," said security consultant Nigel Brown.
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Correspondent Siobhan Darrow contributed to this report.


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