Schumacher in coma after off-piste skiing accident

The Northern Echo: Michael Schumacher has been seriously hurt in a skiing accident in France Michael Schumacher has been seriously hurt in a skiing accident in France

FORMER racing driver Michael Schumacher is in a coma after a skiing accident in France.

The seven-times Formula One champion crashed while skiing off-piste in the resort of Meribel yesterday and was airlifted to hospital.

University Hospital of Grenoble spokesman Jean-Marc Grenier said the 44-year-old German had suffered a serious head injury and remains in a critical condition.

"He suffered a severe head injury with coma on arrival, which required immediate neurosurgical intervention," he told Sky News in a statement.

"He remains in a critical situation."

Schumacher's wife Corinna and his two children are reportedly at his bedside.

Earlier, Schumacher's management said he had been wearing a helmet at the time of the accident.

The former racing driver's spokeswoman Sabine Kehm said in a statement: "Michael fell on his head when he was on a private skiing trip in the French Alps.

"He was taken to hospital and is receiving professional medical attention.

"We ask for understanding that we cannot give out continuous information about his health.

"He was wearing a helmet and was not alone. No-one else was involved in the fall."

The director of the Meribel resort was earlier quoted as saying the injury, which happened at 11.07am local time, was "not very serious".

Christophe Gernignon-Lecomte said on rmcsport.bfmtv.com: "It was a pretty heavy fall at 1100 this morning while skiing off piste. He was wearing a helmet. He was conscious after his fall.

"Two or three minutes later two ski patrol intervened to help him. They immediately asked for a medical evacuation helicopter. It arrived in less than 15 minutes. He was sent to Moutiers first, then on to Grenoble for more analysis."

Actress Natasha Richardson died in 2009 after suffering a serious head injury in a fall at a Canadian resort. Initially she had not seemed to be seriously injured following the accident during a skiing lesson at the luxury Mont Tremblant resort in Quebec.

Schumacher has received an outpouring of support from the racing world, including from British F1 former world champion Jenson Button, who urged him to pull through.

"My thoughts are with Michael Schumacher at this tough time. Michael, more than anyone, has the strength to pull through this," he tweeted.

Schumacher retired from F1 for the final time in 2012 after a three-season comeback with Mercedes.

Schumacher, who also raced for Jordan, Benetton and Ferrari, won the last of his world titles in 2004.

He won two with Benetton in 1994 and 1995 before moving to Ferrari and winning five in a row from 2000. The German has 91 career wins.

His return to the sport with Mercedes after a spell in retirement was less successful. He managed just one podium finish in his three years with the team and a best end-of-season placing of eighth in 2011.

During his first period of retirement, in 2009, he was taken to hospital after a motorbike crash during testing at a circuit in Cartagena, Spain.

He did not suffer serious injuries on that occasion.

Meribel, an upmarket resort, hosted the ice hockey and women's alpine skiing at the 1992 Winter Olympics.

French newspaper Le Dauphine Libere reported that Schumacher had undergone a second operation overnight at the Grenoble University Hospital Centre.

It was also reported that Professor Gerard Saillant, who co-ordinated the driver's medical care after he broke his leg in the 1999 British Grand Prix at Silverstone, is present at the hospital.

Comments (3)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

10:58pm Sun 29 Dec 13

diga says...

I'm keeping everything crossed for him and my thoughts are with his friends and family. x
I'm keeping everything crossed for him and my thoughts are with his friends and family. x diga

8:32am Mon 30 Dec 13

stone-rose says...

Typical of Schuey not happy unless he s doing 200mph an absolute legend, and true life hero .My thoughts and wishes for a speedy recovery at this sad time .
Typical of Schuey not happy unless he s doing 200mph an absolute legend, and true life hero .My thoughts and wishes for a speedy recovery at this sad time . stone-rose

11:34am Mon 30 Dec 13

David Lacey says...

All the money in the world can't do a thing for him now. He lived life on the edge during his racing career - sometimes breaking the rules - but he will need every ounce of his strength and determination to win this one. Good luck Michael. I was never a fan but respect your achievements.
All the money in the world can't do a thing for him now. He lived life on the edge during his racing career - sometimes breaking the rules - but he will need every ounce of his strength and determination to win this one. Good luck Michael. I was never a fan but respect your achievements. David Lacey

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree