TODAY

TODAY   |  December 30, 2013

Formula One legend in coma after skiing accident

Racing legend Michael Schumacher was critically injured after hitting his head on a rock while skiing with his son in the French Alps. NBC’s Kristen Dahlgren reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> much. he is in a medically induced coma after suffering head injuries during a skiing accident. kristen dahlgren has the latest. good morning.

>> good morning, during his formula one career he cheated death at speeds over 200 miles per hour winning 91 races and seven world titles but it's his skiing accident that now has him fighting for his life. michael shoemaker is in critical condition this morning. he fell sunday and hit his head on a rock while skiing with his son in the french alps . at the time of the accident he was skiing off-piste meaning he was in a hazardous area. not on the main slopes. doctors say he was wearing a helmet. he was air lifted to a nearby hospital in france where he underwent emergency brain surgery. the hospital director gave a brief statement late last night. [ speaking foreign language ]

>> reporter: his accident is tragically reminiscent of other skiing accidents that took the lives of natasha richardson and sony bono. doctors say right now they're only focussing on his current condition and can't predict the outcome but they say if he didn't have the helmet on he wouldn't be alive.

>> thank you. happy new year to you.

>> i took the family skiing in vale last week and the greatest thing is that you see about 95% of the slopes wearing helmets. as days gone by people didn't think they were cool and now they think they're very cool.

>> he survives all of that on the treks of the world going at these high speeds risking his life and he said i'm going to spend my time enjoying myself.

>> we wish him our prayers.