(AP) Former F1 champion Schumacher injured while skiing
By SARAH DiLORENZO
Seven-time Formula One champion Michael Schumacher was hospitalized with a head injury Sunday after a skiing accident in the French Alps, French authorities and his manager said.
The French Mountain Gendarmerie said Schumacher was wearing a helmet when he had a hard fall at the Meribel resort and that he sustained a “relatively serious” head injury.
The gendarmerie said the 44-year-old’s life was not in danger.
In a statement, the Meribel resort said Schumacher was conscious when rescuers arrived on the scene.
Schumacher was initially taken to a local hospital and later transferred to a hospital in the city of Grenoble for a fuller examination and a battery of tests. Those tests were still ongoing, the resort said, adding that orthopedic and trauma surgeon Gerard Saillant had traveled from Paris to the Grenoble hospital to examine Schumacher. German news agency dpa said it was Saillant who operated on Schumacher when he broke his leg during a crash at the Silverstone race course in 1999.
In an email to The Associated Press, Schumacher’s manager Sabine Kehm said the retired driver was on a private skiing trip and “fell on his head.”
“We ask for understanding that we cannot give running updates on his condition. He wore a helmet and was not alone,” Kehm said. Schumacher’s 14-year-old son was skiing with his father when the accident happened, the resort said.
In addition to the crash at Silverstone, Schumacher was hurt seriously in a motorcycling accident in February 2009 in Spain when he suffered neck and spine injuries. He recovered sufficiently from those injuries to make a comeback in F1.
The resort said he was skiing off-piste when he fell and hit his head on a rock.
“He was shocked, a little rattled but conscious,” Christophe Gernigon-Lecomte, the director of tourism at Meribel, said in a statement.
Schumacher retired in 2006 after winning five straight titles with Ferrari following two earlier ones with Benetton. He came back to the sport in 2010 and drove for three seasons for Mercedes without much success before retiring again last year.
AP Sports Writer Nesha Starcevic in Frankfurt and Associated Press writer Geir Moulson in Berlin contributed to this report.