Schumacher Battles for Life After Ski Fall

Seven-times Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher was fighting for his life on Monday after suffering severe head injuries in a skiing accident in the French Alps resort of Meribel, doctors said.

"We can say that his condition is life-threatening," Jean-Francois Payen, head anaesthetician at the CHU hospital in the eastern French city of Grenoble, told a news conference.

"For the moment we cannot say what Michael Schumacher's future is," he added. "We are working round the clock - we are trying to win time."

The retired motor racing great, 44, slammed his head on a rock while skiing off-piste on Sunday morning in the French Alpine resort where he has a vacation home.

"His helmet did of course protect him at least partly. Someone who had suffered a similar accident without a helmet would not have made it here [to the hospital]," Payen said.

Schumacher was initially conscious as he was transported to a local hospital in Moutiers and then to Grenoble. However, his condition deteriorated sharply afterwards.

VOA News / Dec. 31, 2013 08:04 KST