GRENOBLE, France – Two minutes of footage from a camera on Michael Schumacher's ski helmet showed the Formula One great was clearly skiing off a groomed trail when he lost his balance and crashed, leaving him with critical head injuries, investigators said Wednesday.
The investigators said they have ruled out problems with his skis, trail conditions and signage. Although they would not estimate Schumacher's speed, they said it was not considered a significant factor in the Dec. 29 crash at the Meribel resort in the French Alps.
"His pace was completely normal for a skilled skier," said Lt. Col. Benoit Vinneman.
Schumacher, 45, the most successful Formula One driver in history, is in a medically induced coma at a hospital in Grenoble. The impact of the crash split his helmet in two, and doctors have said the protective gear saved his life.
Prosecutor Patrick Quincy said experts still need to go through the footage image by image, but he said Schumacher landed nine meters outside the marked trail after falling face down and striking his head on a rock.
Schumacher had been on a family vacation in Meribel, where he owns a chalet.
Skiers and snowboarders continue to use the off-piste zone where Schumacher crashed, but say they are aware of the need to be careful.
British tourist Steve Bovill said he always wears a helmet, as Schumacher did. Speaking from the sunny mountainside, he said, "It was an accident that could have happened to anyone."