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Authorities say it’s too early to determine speed in Schumacher accident

Jan 8, 2014, 5:56 AM EDT

This is the area where former Formula One star Michael Schumacher was injured in a skiing accident on Dec. 29. He suffered critical injuries, particularly to his brain, after crashing into a pile of rocks. Reuters

French investigators and authorities provided an update on the progress into determining the cause of Michael Schumacher’s skiing accident.

At the moment, they are unable to determine the speed, said it was too early to say who or what was responsible, but also said that as an experienced skier Schumacher performed “completely normal behavior by a good skier on this terrain.”

The 2-minute video clip authorities reviewed came via the GoPro camera affixed to Schumacher’s helmet. Prosecutor Patrick Quincy determined the rock Schumacher hit was 8 meters off piste, and that the film review confirms all the information they already had.

“This film is perfectly clear and gives us a lot of information, and confirms all the information we already had,” Quincy said.

Added Quincy on exactly what happened, “(Schumacher) reached an intersection between a red and blue one. He went down the red piste and went off piste. He’s evidently a very good skier. But one of his skis hit a rock that was sticking out and it caused him to fall and hit his head on the rock.”

They are using the film to complete a reconstruction of the accident. As this is still early in the process, neither Quincy nor French police were able to make any specific determinations on responsibility. They have been consulting with Schumacher’s family as they are going through this investigation.

With the speed undetermined, the authorities will speak to experts and be able to reveal that later on. Because he was off piste, it was difficult to slow down, they said.

The state of the snow itself “wasn’t great,” according to Quincy, but he also said he wasn’t really analyzing that at the moment. They did rule out the skis themselves as the cause, and noted the scratch underneath the skis that confirmed hitting the rock.

As others have this week, the authorities continued to ask the media to respect the family’s privacy.

Schumacher remains in critical condition and in a medically induced coma at University Center Hospital in Grenoble, France.

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