Michael Schumacher, the legendary Formula One race-car driver from Germany, is in “critical condition” in a coma after a skiing accident in the French Alps on Sunday.
Schumacher, who will turn 45 on Jan. 3, had suffered “a serious brain trauma with coma on his arrival, which required an immediate neurosurgical operation,” according to a statement released by Centre Hospitalier Universitaire in Grenoble, France, (via AFP). Schumacher’s management team, according to the BBC, confirmed that the driver, who retired from racing in 2012, is in critical condition.
Schumacher, who was wearing a helmet, fell and hit a head against a rock as he was skiing off-piste (back-country) with his 14-year-old son, Meribel resort director Christophe Gernignon-Lecomte said (via the Associated Press and BBC). Gernignon-Lecomte said Schumacher was evacuated by helicopter to Moutiers, a nearby town, and was later taken to Grenoble, accompanied by his wife and children.
Schumacher is a seven-time world champion and won 91 races over a 19-year career that is the most successful in F1 history. He initially retired from racing in 2006, but returned in 2010.