Prosecutors: Hard to determine Schumacher’s speed

Gordon Lomas

Wednesday 8th January, 2014 - 9:32pm

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Proscecutors say Michael Schumacher was 9m off-piste when he fell

Proscecutors say Michael Schumacher was 9m off-piste when he fell

French prosecutors would not commit to determining what speed Michael Schumacher was travelling before he fell off-piste and smashed his head on a rock 10 days ago.

In a press conference held in the Alpine town of Albertville, the prosecutors gave some details of their investigations into the accident which has left Schumacher with critical brain injuries.

French investigating prosecutor Patrick Quincy said his team had performed reconstructions of the accident at the ski resort of Meribel.

The investigators also revealed that they have a two-minute video from a Go Pro camera mounted on Schumacher’s helmet.

Quincy also called into question the validity of so-called video footage taken from an onlooker of the accident as it happened.

When quizzed about how fast Schumacher was travelling down the slope, the prosecutors would not commit, although they said that it did appear at one point off-piste that he attempted to slow his speed.

“At about 2700m Mr Schumacher went down on this part of the piste and he reached an intersection between a red and blue one and he followed the red piste and he went off piste,” Quincy said.

“He is evidently an extremely good skier. But one of his skis hit a rock that was sticking out and it caused him to fall.

Quincy would not be drawn into saying how fast Schumacher was travelling at the time of the accident however another investigator, Stephane Bozon, said that the grand prix champion did not look at reducing his speed before he went off piste judging by vision from his helmet camera.

“His speed when he went off piste; he didn’t really look at reducing his speed,” Bozon said.

“We can’t really tell his speed yet, however it is a speed of a very good skier on a fairly hard terrain and he was cornering to reduce his speed a little bit.”

Quincy said that the vision from the helmet camera was precise and has provided a lot of information.

“This film is perfectly clear and gives us a lot of information and confirms all the information that we already had.

“We used this film to do a reconstruction of the accident.

“Our findings on the video will be shown in an inquest.

“We need to transcribe the video image-by-image to determine exactly where he fell.

“I heard people talk about a film that was taken by a witness but we have not received anything from this person.

“Personally I doubt whether this exists.”

Quincy said that the investigation into Schumacher’s fall was being conducted exactly the same as any other.

“We are doing exactly the same investigations as we would do with anyone,” he said.

“Every winter season we have about 50 investigations of this nature. And we give the same attention to detail to everything we do.”

Quincy began the press conference by saying that Schumacher’s family have asked ‘if you (press) would leave them in peace’.

Schumacher remains in an induced coma in Grenoble hospital and it is not known when the surgeons who have performed two brain operations on the seven-times world champion will hold another media conference.

The medical team have previously said that they would only offer official statements if there was a change in his condition.

 

 

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