Prosecutors say no criminal charges will follow Michael Schumacher's accident
Resort and equipment manufacturer in the clear as case is closed
By Sky Sports Online. Last Updated: 17/02/14 11:39am
Michael Schumacher: Skiing accident
French authorities have announced that they will not pursue charges in the wake of Michael Schumacher's life-threatening skiing accident late last year.
In a statement released on Monday, Albertville Prosecutor Patrick Quincy said "no infraction by anyone has been turned up" and added that the investigation has been closed.
The announcement therefore ends the threat of criminal action against both the ski resort of Meribel, where the seven-time World Champion crashed on December 29, and manufacturers of the ski equipment he was wearing at the time.
Schumacher had ventured off-piste when he hit the right side of his head on a rock - the impact breaking his crash helmet and causing serious injuries.
Quincy's office said the rock that caused Schumacher to fall was 10.4 meters (34 feet) away from another rock upon which he hit his head. Both were more than four meters away from the edge of the red-level piste that he had been on.
"The accident took place in an off-piste area," the prosecutor's statement said. "The signage, marking, staking and information provided about the edges of this slope adhere to French norms in place."
Schumacher is still being treated at Grenoble's University Hospital, where doctors started waking him from an induced coma nearly three weeks ago.
At the time, the 45-year-old was said to be "responding to simple instructions" although there has been no official update from the hospital on his condition since.
Meanwhile, a French ski and climbing academy has suggested that the camera Schumacher had fitted to his helmet at the time of the accident may have contributed to his injuries.
ENSA said it had conducted tests to determine whether the presence of a solid object between a helmet colliding with a rock would weaken its structure.
"The helmet completely broke. It was in at least two parts. ENSA analysed the piece of the helmet to check the material, and all was OK," a source told The Daily Telegraph.
"But why did it explode on impact? Here the camera comes into question. The laboratory has been testing to see if the camera weakened the structure."
The official updates on Michael Schumacher's condition
'Michael's family would like to again express their sincere thanks for the continuous sympathy coming from all over the world. The good wishes they receive help the family and, we are convinced they also help Michael, who still is in a waking up process.
'As often in such situation, no day is like the next. The family is thankful for one's understanding that they would not wish to disclose medical details in order to protect Michael's privacy. As assured from the beginning we will continue to communicate any decisive new information on Michael's health state. We are aware that the wake up phase can take a long time.
'The family continues to strongly believe in Michael's recovery and place all their trust in the doctors, nurses and nursing auxiliaries team. The important thing is not the speed of the recovery but that Michael's healing process progresses in a continuous and controlled way.'
'The family of Michael Schumacher is again requesting to respect its privacy and the medical secret, and to not disturb the doctors treating Michael in their work. At the same time, the family wishes to express sincere appreciation for the world wide sympathy.
'Michael's sedation is being reduced in order to allow the start of the waking up process which may take a long time. For the protection of the family, it was originally agreed by the interested parties to communicate this information only once this process was consolidated.'
'Unfortunately I have to repeat that any information regarding Michael's health not coming from the doctors treating him or from his management must be treated as pure speculation. I also repeat that Michael's family is very happy and confident with the work of the team of doctors treating Michael, and they trust them completely. Michael's condition is still considered as stable.'
'The clinical condition of Michael Schumacher is considered as stable and is constantly monitored by medical treatments that are administered to him. However, the medical team in charge emphasises it continues to consider Michael's condition as critical.
'The privacy of the statement demands that we are not going into details of his treatment, and this is why we do not plan any press conferences, nor give out written press releases, anymore for the time being. We insist again that you respect medical confidentiality and you adhere to the information provided by the medical team in charge, or his management, as this is the only valid information.'
'Michael's condition remains critical but stable. We would like to clearly stress that any information regarding Michael's health not coming from the doctors treating him or from his management must be treated as invalid and pure speculation. The family cares only for Michael's health.
'Michael's helmet camera was voluntarily given to the investigating authorities by the family.That this should have been done against the wishes of the family is untrue. We ask you to respect the continued privacy of the family.'
'Mr Schumacher was admitted to the University Hospital of Grenoble at 12:40pm, following a skiing accident which occurred in Meribel in the late morning. He suffered a severe head injury with coma on arrival, which required immediate neurosurgical intervention. He remains in a critical situation.'