Footage from a helmet camera used by Michael Schumacher appears to prove that the seven time Formula 1 World Champion was not skiing at high speed when he fell and struck his head on a rock.
That is the claim of France’s RMC radio and also BFMTV television, after authorities reportedly extracted the footage as they investigate the incident at Meribel resort late last month that left Schumacher, 45, in a coma.
The information contradicts earlier reports which clamed that the former F1 driver was at speed in the rock-strewn ‘off-piste’ section between two slopes.
It could also spell legal trouble for Meribel, a major ski resort in the French alps, with lawyers already circling.
“The [safety] standard has not been met, as the signs and markings were inadequate and non-compliant,” lawyer Edouard Bourgin told Le Figaro newspaper. “It cannot be that a resort collects the skiers’ money, but does not ensure their right to safety.”
Germany’s Welt newspaper reports that Meribel has already retained the services of a top ski industry-specific lawyer.
A top former ski racer and Olympic gold medallist, however, has leapt to Meribel’s defence. Markus Wasmeier said that areas such as the one Schumacher fell in “are quite normal”.
“The problem is unsolvable, short of lining the entire slope with guardrails,” he is quoted by Sport Bild magazine.
A witness to the Schumacher rescue scene said the two slopes to either side of the rocky area were clearly marked with signs, according to Brazil’s Globo.
“Even a professional can fall on a rock,” Wasmeier added. (GMM)
Subbed by AJN.