Michael Schumacher injured in skiing accident - KiiiTV.com South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend

Michael Schumacher injured in skiing accident

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(CNN)-- Michael Schumacher, the most successful driver in Formula One history, is recovering in hospital after suffering a head injury while skiing in the French Alps on Sunday.

The 44-year-old German, who retired from the elite motorsport for the second and final time in 2012, fell and hit his head on a rock, said the director of the Meribel resort where Schumacher was skiing.

"He was airlifted and taken to hospital in Moutiers," Christophe Gernignon-Lecomte told CNN affiliate BFM TV.

"He was shocked, a little shaken but conscious. It may be a head injury but it is not very serious."

In a later phone interview with CNN, Gernignon-Lecomte said the incident happened just after 11 a.m. local time (1000 GMT) while Schumacher was skiing off-piste (on unmarked slopes) in the mountains of Meribel resort between Georges Bauduis Piste and La Biche Piste.

"He was alone and he wore a helmet. He hit his head on a rock," Gernignon-Lecomte said.

"He was rescued a few minutes later by two first aid workers. He was then transferred by helicopter to a nearby hospital.

"He was conscious but in shock when he arrived in the hospital. To be able to determine the exact causes of the accident, we have to wait for a police report.

"There is an open investigation going on. We insist on the fact that Michael Schumacher was skiing off-piste and his fall is not linked to an avalanche."

A spokesman for the first-aid responders in Meribel -- who asked not to be named as a matter of protocol -- confirmed that Schumacher was wearing a helmet, but said he had suffered "a relatively bad head injury".

He said Schumacher had been transferred from the Hospital of Moutiers to the Grenoble Hospital, where there is a trauma center.

The spokesman added that the injury was "not life-threatening" and that Schumacher was conscious at the scene of the accident.

Schumacher made his F1 debut in 1991, and had won a record seven world titles by the time of his first retirement in 2006 -- five of those with Ferrari.

He returned to the track with the revived Mercedes team in 2010, but struggled to repeat his earlier glories.

His best finish was third place at last year's European Grand Prix in Valencia, his only podium position in three seasons with the German manufacturer.

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