Schumacher accident aftermath revealed
THE mountain cop who led the rescue of Michael Schumacher has opened up about the F1 icon's devastating skiing accident.
Stephane Bozon has spoken out exactly five years after the tragedy in the French Alps which rocked the sporting world and left the German in a coma.
"I still remember the emergency doctors of the helicopter had problems with the first care on the slopes because of the location of the accident," he said.
"The first responders said that because the accident site was next to the slope, it was difficult for them to transport him carefully and cautiously.
"It was clear that it was very serious, otherwise we would not have used the helicopter. Mr Schumacher was lucky (to survive)."
Bozon, Commander of the Mountain constabulary of Savoyen, was at the scene in the French alpine resort of Meribel the next day as an investigation into the accident was carried out, and said the legend was skiing off piste.
"Some of our people were already at the scene in the afternoon. I was there the next day, took pictures, talked to experts," Bozon said.
"I saw the stone Schumacher encountered with his skis and the stone he hit with his head.
"It had snowed so little in the days before that the stones were slightly covered with snow, but only with a very thin blanket of snow. He could not see the stone.
"But if it had snowed more, Schumacher would probably just have glided over the first stone.
"The operator of the ski resort is not at fault. Because if you go off the slopes, it is at your own risk."
When asked if he had visited the family, the rescue chief revealed he had received no report on the star's health.
"No. I do not know how he is doing either," Bozon said. "But I do think about this accident quite often.
"That's why I would like to hear good news about Michael Schumacher."
The much-loved sports star was skiing with son Mick in December 2013 when he was critically injured.
Schumacher is now reportedly receiving $90,000-a-week medical care while being treated by experts in his home near Lake Geneva in Switzerland.
Last month a German archbishop said the legend "senses that loving people are around him".
Georg Gänswein told how he paid an emotional visit to see the Schumacher in 2016 as he recovered from his horror skiing accident three years earlier.
He said although Schumacher's face has "become a little fuller" the record-breaking driver still looks the same as he did when last seen by his millions of fans.
"I sat opposite him, took hold of both hands and looked at him," the 62-year-old - who is one of Pope Francis's key advisers - said according to German newspaper Bild.
"He senses that loving people are around him, caring for him and, thank God, keeping the overly curious public away.
"Of course, I include Michael Schumacher and his family in my prayers."
Schumacher's manager has always insisted the superstar's health is not a public matter and the race ace's family has always remained tight-lipped about the star's condition and asked for privacy.
"In general the media have never reported on Michael and (wife) Corinna's private life," Schumacher's manager Sabine Kehm said in 2016.
"When he was in Switzerland, for example, it was clear he was a private individual.
"Once in a long discussion Michael said to me: 'You don't need to call me for the next year, I'm disappearing.'
"I think it was his secret dream to be able to do that some day. That's why now I still want to protect his wishes in that I don't let anything get out."
Earlier this year, "close relatives" reportedly gave French magazine Paris Match an insight into Schumacher's health battle.
One was quoted as saying: "When you put him in his wheelchair facing the beautiful panorama of the mountains overlooking the lake, Michael sometimes cries."
And Schumacher's former boss at Ferrari Jean Todt has told how he visits the German every month.
He told The Times: "I love Michael. I see his family. I wish the situation would be different."
Last November, Schumacher's daughter posted an inspirational message to his fans to keep the hope of his recovery alive.
Gina-Maria, 20, wrote on Instagram: "There is only one happiness in this life, to love and be loved #keepfighting."
His wife Corinna, 46, Gina-Maria and her brother Mick, 18, have rarely spoken out about his condition.
However, Schumacher's former manager Willi Weber said last October: "I find it very unfortunate that Michael's fans do not know about his health. Why are they not being told the truth?"
This article first appeared on The Sun and was republished with permission