The ski resort in the French Alps where seven-time Formula One champion Michael Schumacher suffered a near-fatal accident wasn’t to blame for the crash, investigators said.
“There were no breaches by anybody. The accident occurred in an off-piste zone,” prosecutor Patrick Quincy said, after finding there was no criminal wrongdoing. The marking on the slope, in the resort of Meribel, “conformed to current French laws,” Quincy said in a statement cited by Agence France-Presse.
The investigators also ruled out the possibility that the former racing driver’s rented skis may have been to blame. Quincy’s team carries out approximately 50 investigations into serious skiing accidents each year.
Schumacher, 45, crashed head-first into a rock Dec. 29 while skiing a few meters to the side of a marked slope, suffering contusions to the brain and hemorrhaging. He would have died had he not been wearing a helmet, his doctors said.
He was placed in a medically induced coma after undergoing partial skull-removal as a way to relieve dangerous pressure, as well as surgery to remove blood clots in his head. On Jan. 30, the German’s family said doctors would start gradually waking him.
“The family continue to strongly believe in Michael’s recovery and place all their trust in the doctors, nurses and nursing auxiliaries’ team,” his manager Sabine Kehm said last week.
Kehm said she was not aware of the decision to close the criminal investigation and refused to comment, according to AFP.
Schumacher won F-1 titles with the Benetton team in 1994 and 1995, and took five consecutive championships with Ferrari from 2000 to 2004. He left the sport after the 2012 campaign following a three-season comeback with Mercedes, during which he didn’t win a race.