Michael Schumacher continues to make steady progress in his coma but any criminal wrongdoing in his skiing accident has been ruled out. The German, who won the title seven times during his illustrious career on the track, has been kept in a medically-induced coma since a skiing accident in the French Alps resort of Méribel in late December.
However, a French prosecutor informed the former driver’s family and the media that the injuries sustained by Schumacher, 45, were not as a result of safety breaches. The prosecutor also confirmed the skiing equipment Schumacher was not faulty and in good working order. Prosecutor Patrick Quincy said all relevant markers and signs at the resort “conformed to current French laws” and so from his point of view, he does not suspect foul play of any description.
Schumacher is still being treated in Grenoble University Hospital but the media coverage has reduced after pleas from his family to respect their privacy. Although Schumacher remains in a serious condition, the good news is he has started waking from the coma and he has responded to contact. His family recently released a statement that detailed Schumacher’s progress, although there was no indication as to how soon they or the doctors expect to see him make a recovery. However, the family said they hold a strong belief that he will make a strong recovery. Furthermore, the family can now completely focus on getting Michael Schumacher better after criminal activity has been ruled out. Nevertheless, doctors have already said it could take a few months to ascertain whether Schumacher’s injuries could lead to lasting brain damage. Investigators are also looking into reports that a camera Schumacher used to capture his son skiing may have contributed to weakening his crash helmet.
Arguably the greatest driver of his generation, Schumacher first retired from the sport in at the end of the 2006 season. Three years later he then was going to make a return to Formula One in time for the 2010 season. He joined the new Mercedes GP team alongside fellow German, Nico Rosberg. However, the comeback did not have the impact Schumacher may have wanted as he struggled to keep pace with younger drivers, such as Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton and Mark Webber. Yet his record during his peak years stands up to any scrutiny. His 91 Grand Prix victories and seven world titles puts him way ahead of any other driver in history. The late Ayrton Senna, rated by many as the greatest driver the world has ever seen, managed to secure three titles before his life was cut short.
It does seem strange to many that a man like Schumacher, who risked his life on racetracks around the world for many years, has suffered a life-threatening injury while doing something completely different and non-competitive. Yet another piece of positive news to come out of the accident, apart from the fact he is responding to treatment, is any criminal activity in the case of Michael Schumacher has been ruled out.
By Robert Shepherd