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Helmet-cam footage shows cause of Schumacher's crash



ALBERTVILLE, France (AP) - Two minutes of footage from a camera on Michael Schumacher's ski helmet showed the Formula One great was clearly skiing off a groomed trail when he lost his balance and crashed, leaving him with critical head injuries, investigators said Wednesday.

The investigators said they have ruled out problems with his skis, trail conditions and signage. Although they would not estimate Schumacher's speed, they said it was not considered a significant factor in the Dec. 29 crash at the Meribel resort in the French Alps.

Michael Schumacher Accident: Investigators' Account of Crash

"His pace was completely normal for a skilled skier," said Lt. Col. Benoit Vinneman.

Schumacher, 45, the most successful Formula One driver in history, is in a medically induced coma at a hospital in Grenoble. The impact of the crash split his helmet in two, and doctors have said the protective gear saved his life.

Prosecutor Patrick Quincy said experts still need to go through the footage image by image, but he said Schumacher landed nine meters outside the marked trail after falling face down and striking his head on a rock.

Schumacher had been on a family vacation in Meribel, where he owns a chalet.

Skiers and snowboarders continue to use the off-piste zone where Schumacher crashed, but say they are aware of the need to be careful.

British tourist Steve Bovill said he always wears a helmet, as Schumacher did. Speaking from the sunny mountainside, he said, "It was an accident that could have happened to anyone."

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leonard c madsen January 09 2014 at 3:44 AM

Maybe the best car driver that ever was on wheels. Maybe not so good without wheels!

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svhtwo January 09 2014 at 12:02 AM

Common causes of these type accidents are because of people pushing the limits of their ability and going beyond what they can do. In other words not using their heads.

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vlady1000 January 08 2014 at 11:32 PM

After all the years of racing, something like this gets a person. And to think my mom was always worried about my short stint in auto racing and never my skiing. May a full recovery come his way.

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brianohorner January 08 2014 at 11:26 PM

It's a shame this happened. He should have stayed on the marked trail. They ask people to stay on marked trails for a reason, people's well-being. Needless accident that shouldn't have happened

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1 reply to brianohorner's comment
proteus12544 January 09 2014 at 1:50 AM

I agree. And the guy who said "it was an accident that could have happened to anyone" was wrong. It wouldn't have happened to someone who stayed on the trials. I have skied from the time I could walk and my children all ski and snow board. They wear protective gear but they also know to stay on the trails. In Vermont if you go off the trails and have to be found or even if you are hurt and have to be rescued they will charge you for it. Just like with car racing skiing is not a place to ignore the rules they are there for a very good reason.

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leonard c madsen January 09 2014 at 3:52 AM

Ya! but you have to understand who and what he was. He pushed the envelope every time he was in a car. Car racers are always going faster than they should that is where the fun is. A driver of his stature does not get his thrills staying on the groom, that is for normal people. He took chances because of who he was. Too bad to.

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LL January 08 2014 at 10:25 PM

When you're "rich" & "famous", your delusional ego's "self-perception" makes you think you're God at that point, and of course, God is invincible !

This is why " It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to get into heaven" - the Good Lord warns,....

..... and "riches" come in many forms; for some are rich in mind altering substance deception, and others with a wealth of the wrong friends, as well as those who are rich in narcissistic thought and action, etc,.

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John January 08 2014 at 10:03 PM

It 's a clear case of living on the edge. Some people crave it. Guys like me think, if I were famous and worth millions, I wouldn't take those risks. I'd want to live the good life for as long as I could.

In other words: Better piste off, than off piste.

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Nancy January 08 2014 at 8:53 PM

I pray for his recovery. Below - don't call anyone an idiot - these mistakes happen. My husband fell while competing in a sprint tri. He fell from his bike going 23 mph - his helmet saved him and yet, he is still recuperating after 1.5 years. Schumacher has a long road ahead of him - no more sprinting - he has now entered a slow and ardous marathon. However, given his athleticism and strong comeptitive spirit - he will overcome this in time! To his family, stay strong, remain his advocates, cheer him on. And when you are weary and feel drained - just keep the faith - he will return to you - but it will just take time. My heart and prayers are with you!

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Billyboy January 08 2014 at 8:52 PM

Praying for speedy recovery.

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mmjones21 January 08 2014 at 8:25 PM

Looks like big wide open trail not too steep who can say why but the worse kind of injury, so sorry

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Michael January 08 2014 at 8:45 PM

he is an idot for being cloase to the rockds. Anyone can see you can ski around the rocks

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dalelv January 08 2014 at 8:14 PM

I have not skiied in years but am well aware of the danger. Come back to us Michael

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