French investigators seek alleged Schumacher video
PARIS (AP) — A French state prosecutor said Sunday he wants to obtain an alleged mobile-phone video of a skiing accident that critically injured Formula One legend Michael Schumacher.
Schumacher’s fall at the Meribel ski resort in the French Alps eight days ago, in which he hit his head on a rock, has left the 45-year-old in a medically induced coma for a severe brain trauma. Questions have emerged about the circumstances of the accident, and Schumacher’s manager, Sabine Kehm, announced Saturday that his family has given French authorities a camera affixed to his helmet to help elucidate the case.
Albertville prosecutor Patrick Quincy told The Associated Press by phone that French investigators are also taking steps to obtain a copy of a smartphone video cited in a report by German news magazine Der Spiegel. Quincy declined to comment further before he holds a planned news conference sometime in mid-week.
Spiegel reported late Saturday that an unnamed 35-year-old man had contacted the magazine claiming to have captured the accident on video while filming his girlfriend on his smartphone just a few meters away. The unnamed witness, described only as a 35-year-old flight attendant from the western German city of Essen, claimed Schumacher had been skiing gently between two ski pistes at no more than 20 kilometers per hour (12 mph) before his fall.
The magazine didn’t show the video on its website, nor claim that its reporters had seen it. Spiegel said the witness told them he planned to hand the video to prosecutors.
Also Sunday, Schumacher’s brother Ralf and father Rolf returned to the Grenoble hospital where he has been receiving care.
Schumacher is the most successful F1 driver in history, racking up a record 91 race wins. He retired from Formula One in 2012 after winning an unmatched seven world titles.
Schumi, as his fans affectionately call him, was famously aggressive on the track and no less intense off-hours. In retirement, he remained an avid skier, skydiver and horseback rider.
Deborah Gouffran in Grenoble, France, and Frank Jordans in Berlin contributed to this report.