UK & World News

  • 17 February 2014, 12:22

Schumacher: Ski Resort In Clear Over Accident

A French prosecutor has ruled out any criminal wrongdoing in the skiing accident which left Michael Schumacher in a coma.

The 45-year-old suffered serious injuries on December 29 when he hit the right side of his head on a rock.

The impact was so severe that his helmet cracked.

A ruling on Monday declared there were no safety breaches at the ski resort and none of the equipment was faulty.

"There were no breaches by anybody. The accident occurred in an off-piste zone," said prosecutor Patrick Quincy.

Mr Quincy added that markers and other signs at the ski resort of Meribel "conformed to current French laws".

The rock that caused Schumacher to fall was 10.4m away from the rock with which he collided, Quincy's office said.

Both rocks were four metres from the red-level piste Schumacher was using.

Investigators have said he was going at a normal speed for a "good skier" when he collided during a family holiday.

The seven-times Formula One world champion is being treated in intensive care at Grenoble University Hospital.

After surgery to reduce bleeding and bruising he was placed in a medically induced coma, but doctors have now started waking him by reducing his drug intake.

The German is said to be "responding to simple instructions".

Schumacher's family released a statement last week saying they "strongly believe" he will recover, but the waking up process is expected to take a long time.

It could be months before it is clear whether the F1 legend has suffered lasting brain damage.

Another avenue being pursued by investigators is whether a camera Schumacher was using to film his 14-year-old son on the slopes may have weakened his helmet.

During his career the racer won a record 91 grand prix and his haul of seven world titles is unmatched.

:: Watch Sky News live on television, on Sky channel 501, Virgin Media channel 602, Freeview channel 82 and Freesat channel 202.