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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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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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oldskibum2 January 08 2014 at 12:00 PM

It seems apparent that a lot of the folks leaving comments don't know much more about skiing than do the tabloid headline writers and editors at HuffPost. For what it's worth, this 65-year old ex-reporter and lifelong skier offers this: In the States, where there's a contingency-fee personal injury lawyer hiding behind every tree, the ski patrol might have roped this spot off and marked it closed for the benefit of the idiots in the crowd. The Euros have an entirely more sensible attitude..."if you can see it, you can ski it, but you assume the risks." Assuming that these are actually pictures of the accident scene taken from the lift (and they don't appear to be still frame grabs from the actual helmet-cam video), then the red warning stakes around the area are clearly visible. The ungroomed snow in this little boulder field obviously hides a lot of rocks, and personally I'd probably avoid the area so as not to tear up my skis. But it's clear that a lot of people have put down some fresh tracks through here. The spot isn't especially steep, and a person doesn't have to be moving very fast to get injured. (The worst injury I can remember happened to a friend who was simply standing still in the lift line, ironically, right there in Meribel.) We skiers have a phrase for that sort of thing: "**** happens."

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1 reply
sgard206 oldskibum2 January 08 2014 at 12:24 PM

Thank you for being a voice of reason.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
susang.newyork January 08 2014 at 11:36 AM

Why do even experienced skiers think they can outwit an ungroomed trail?

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Willie January 08 2014 at 11:20 AM

Where is the vid?

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2 replies
skydanzer400 Willie January 08 2014 at 11:55 AM

Exactly what I want to know. We get baited into clicking on it so we can sit through the advertisements then no video. How typically AOL.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
ohioh111b111y Willie January 08 2014 at 11:57 AM

willie: good question.... I ran my virus scanner just in case ; )

Flag Reply 0 rate up
stephen January 08 2014 at 11:10 AM

haveing had abrain injury it)s one of the hardes recovery you can ever have it takes years to get back to just do little things my hart goes out to his family.

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searaymaster2 January 08 2014 at 11:02 AM

best hopes of a full recovery for you and the strength of your family by your side

Flag Reply +6 rate up
pmrspnj2 January 08 2014 at 10:33 AM

it is ironic that after a career of driving fast in F1 racing that he should have such an accident while skiing.
i hope he recovers fully and has no permanent disability from this accident..

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dvdfrnzwbr January 08 2014 at 12:23 PM

That rocky area is a death trap.

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kristolblue January 08 2014 at 10:13 AM

This is a very sad moment for everyone who has had the pleasure of watching Michael over the years. I can't imagine this accident actually taking the life of such an amazing and talented man.
I will continue to pray for him and his family and while he fights his biggest challenge so far. Michael, you can pull through this and you will.

Flag Reply +5 rate up
petersonentvt January 08 2014 at 10:05 AM

I really hate the misleading headlines on Huff Post that get us to click on the story. The headline seemed to say hey we have footage of the accident so you click to see the video and it is a news conference discussing the story and that they have helmet cam footage. If Huff Post doesnt have the footage the headline should have read officials using video footage to review ski accident. Then I wouldnt be expecting to see the footage.

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