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Report: Could helmet cam have played part in severity of Michael Schumacher’s head injuries?

Feb 16, 2014, 8:10 PM EDT

File photo of  Schumacher skiing during a stay in the northern Italian resort of Madonna Di Campiglio AP

Seven-time Formula One champion Michael Schumacher has spent his life being surrounded by cameras. But could a small video camera have played a big part in his near-fatal skiing accident in France nearly eight weeks ago?

Several media reports, including one by The Telegraph in the United Kingdom, indicate that a video camera attached to Schumacher’s helmet may have somehow compromised the helmet.

According to The Telegraph, experts from the French ski and climbing academy ENSA have performed tests to see whether the structure of the helmet could have been weakened if there was also a solid object (such as the camera) in-between the helmet and the collision with the rocks that Schumacher crashed into.

The camera, which Schumacher reportedly attached to the helmet to film his son skiing with him, was undamaged, and has yielded video and audio footage that has been significant in the official police probe of the crash.

But the helmet itself broke apart, according to reports, and at least some investigators believe the helmet cam could have played a part in worsening the blow of Schumacher’s head into the rocks.

“The helmet completely broke,” according to a source close to the investigation quoted by The Telegraph. “It was in at least two parts. ENSA analyzed the piece of the helmet to check the material, and all was OK.

“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.”

More light may be shed upon the circumstances of Schumacher’s crash on Monday when the prosecutor leading the main police investigation into Schumacher’s crash, Patrick Quincy, is expected to announce that the Meribel ski resort and manufacturers of the ski equipment he was wearing have been cleared of liability in the accident.

Schumacher remains in intensive care in an induced coma at Grenoble University Hospital.

  1. manik56 - Feb 16, 2014 at 11:04 PM

    My money is on the rock and not the plastic camera.

  2. hank10 - Feb 17, 2014 at 10:57 PM

    Ski helmets are designed to fail (break) upon a hard impact. For further proof look at the two female snowboard-cross competitors at Sochi in the past week. Both had hard falls with their heads hitting the ground and their helmets cracked in half. A Go-Pro camera attached by velcro isn’t going to compromise the helmet. Seems like more reaching for something or someone else to point the blame on instead of Schumacher’s skiing in an out of bound area.

  3. worknman24hours - Feb 18, 2014 at 7:18 PM

    The question here is not that the helmet failed .

    The question here is that the helmet protected the GoPro helmet from Michael’s head and not Michael’s head from the rock.

    The scientists performing these tests are not posters on the internet like you or me,

    These scientists are for REAL and what they find out may well help prevent anyone else from going through what Michael and his family is going through now-at least from aloved one just going out for a nice day of skiing on a perfect day.

    I encourage all of those scientific studies to continue and to please publicly disclose the findings in full.

  4. worknman24hours - Feb 18, 2014 at 10:24 PM

    Just to clarify-

    The question here is did the rock impact the GoPro camera first,

    drive the camera into Michael’s helmet,

    cracking the ski helmet in half,

    which left Michael’s head totally unprotected from his head’s impact with the rock as the camera broke off.

    Even more awful is if the camera itself and not the rock was the thing that caused the head injury as the camera may well have been held in place as it was driven through the helmet while cracking it in half,by the very styrofoam energy absorbing construction meant to protect Michael’s head from impact.

    These questions have been asked by many and now scientists in many places are researching and will answer factually.

    Maybe saving others from what Michael and his family are going through right now.

    We don’t even need to debate it.

    The scientists working from many places will hopefully answer that for us.

    May no one ever have to go through what Michael is now if these questions prove to be true.

    Michael, we miss you and hope you get well soon.

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