Michael Schumacher: Former Formula One world champion 'in coma' after suffering head injury in skiing accident

The seven-time world champion was on holiday at the Meribel resort in the French Alps

Paris

The retired seven-times Formula One racing champion, Michael Schumacher, was reported to be in a coma in hospital on Sunday night after striking his head on a rock while skiing in the French Alps. An update on his condition is due at 10am GMT on Monday.

Schumacher, 44, was initially said to have escaped without a life-threatening injury but French media later reported that he had suffered a cerebral haemorrhage and that his condition had dramatically worsened.

An eminent French orthopedic and trauma surgeon Gérard Saillant – a friend of Schumacher’s – flew from Paris to Grenoble to take charge of his treatment.

In a statement, the university hospital in Grenoble said that Schumacher was “in a coma” when he arrived there on Sunday afternoon. “He was suffering from a serious head trauma and was in a coma, necessitating immediate brain surgery,” the hospital said.

Schumacher fell on Sunday while skiing off-piste with his 14-year- old son and friends at Meribel, where he owns a chalet. He was due to celebrate his 45th birthday on Friday.

He was flown by helicopter to a local hospital but transferred by air to a trauma unit in Grenoble when his condition worsened.

“The life of the former racing driver is now regarded as being in danger,” the local newspaper, le Dauphiné Libéré, reported last night without revealing the source of its information.

RMC radio also reported on its sports website that Schumacher had suffered a cerebral haemorrhage and was in a “critical condition”.

 

Schumacher, the most successful ever Formula One driver with 91 victories, was wearing a helmet when he fell. Christopher Gernigon-Lecomte, director of the exclusive resort in the Three Valleys region near Chambéry said: “He was conscious but very agitated while being taken to hospital.”

The gendarmerie mountain rescue team said during the afternoon that Schumacher had suffered a “relatively serious” head injury.

The former racing driver’s manager, Sabine Kehm, told the Associated Press: “We ask for understanding that we cannot give running updates on his condition. He wore a helmet and was not alone.”

The German driver retired from Formula One for the second time last year. He lives in Switzerland with his wife and two children.

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