Investigators reveal details of Schumacher's ski accident
Albertville, France (SportsNetwork.com) - French investigators provided details on Wednesday about Michael Schumacher's near-fatal skiing accident, which occurred ten days ago at the Meribel ski resort in the French Alps.
Schumacher, a seven-time Formula One world champion and winner of 91 grand prix, is currently in a medically-induced coma after suffering a traumatic brain injury when his head hit a rock during the accident on Dec. 29. The 45- year-old German remains in critical but stable condition in a hospital in Grenoble, France.
"With regards to the inquiry itself, it's progressing well," said Patrick Quincy, the head prosecutor investigating Schumacher's accident. "We've had a number of hearings from the emergency services that came on to the spot, the person who rented the skis, the doctors and witnesses. And we've also in fact made notes on the actual spot itself, and we carried out some scenes. We have some analysis of the skis and the helmet."
Investigators said they have been reviewing footage from a camera attached to the helmet Schumacher was wearing at the time of the accident. The film, which is two minutes in length, showed that Schumacher traveled at a normal speed but was eight meters (26 feet) off-piste when his skis struck a rock. He then fell forward and hit his head on another rock. Investigators will continue to review the footage.
"We've examined the film, and it gives us a lot of information," Quincy said. "It's very clear. This confirms the evidence that we already had. We will use this film to construct the situation and to see exactly the path that Michael Schumacher took. This is the current state of the investigation."
Investigators also noted that Schumacher was not skiing recklessly. It's not clear yet what his actual speed was when the incident occurred. Schumacher's skis were determined to be in perfect condition and not the cause of the accident.
"The evidence is that [Schumacher] is a very good skier, and he was going beyond the left-hand side of the clearly-defined route of the prepared piste," said police investigator Stephane Bozon. "As for his speed, I can't estimate in kilometers per hour. I'm not going to put an exact figure on it. That will come later.
"It was the speed of a good skier on a gentle slope, which didn't allow him to make turns to reduce speed."
01/08 13:45:40 ET