Suspect in Michael Schumacher medical file theft found dead


A man that was arrested Tuesday in Zurich, Switzerland over the suspected theft of Michael Schumacher’s medical files has been found dead in a prison cell according to city prosecutors.

The Associated Press reports that the man was found hanged in the cell this morning. He was set to appear at a hearing and had denied any wrongdoing.

The man’s name has not yet been released but it’s been confirmed that he worked for the Rega air ambulance service.

Rega organized the seven-time Formula One World Champion’s recent transfer from a hospital in Grenoble, France to Lausanne, Switzerland, where he’s began rehabilitation after his skiing accident on December 29, 2013.

Early in July, Rega lodged a criminal complaint over the leak of Schumacher’s medical files while adding that it had no knowledge of any misconduct from its employees. Schumacher’s family also filed a criminal complaint as well.

A subsequent investigation by Zurich prosecutors yielded Tuesday’s arrest of the Rega employee. Those prosecutors have said that their initial findings indicate no one else was involved and the case is now likely to be closed.

In a statement, Rega CEO Ernst Kohler said that the company has been left “sad and speechless” by today’s news. Kohler added that the company is giving its condolences and support to his relatives.

Last month, Schumacher’s manager, Sabine Kehm, first released a statement saying that someone was trying to sell her client’s medical files.

Kehm also said that the family would pursue criminal charges and damages against any media outlet that chose to use the confidential records for publication.

Schumacher was put into a months-long, medically-induced coma shortly after sustaining severe head injuries in his skiing accident in the French Alps. The racing great woke up from the coma this past June.

NHRA: John Force-like motor explosions get contagious during Sunday’s Gatornationals

Photo and video courtesy NHRA
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John Force is rubbing off on others – but probably not the way they or he would like.

The 16-time NHRA Funny Car champion has had spectacular motor explosions in each of the first three races of the new NHRA season, including during Friday’s qualifying for this weekend’s Gatornationals.

During Sunday’s quarterfinals of eliminations, Force’s teammate (and son-in-law and president of John Force Racing) Robert Hight squared off with fellow Funny Car driver Matt Hagan.

As the duo closed in on the finish line, both cars experienced spectacular motor explosions of their own – virtually side-by-side and nearly at the same time.

Hight’s car was the first to explode, tossing its body high in the air. A split-second later, Hagan’s car exploded, also sending the body flying.

Check out the NHRA video:

Hight wound up losing the race.

Hagan, meanwhile, and his crack pit crew rolled their backup car off the hauler, put in a new motor and went on to race through the semifinals and into the finals, losing to race winner “Fast Jack” Beckman.

“We had a pretty great race day, to be honest,” Hagan said. “I’ve never been to the finals in Gainesville.

“We obviously had a huge blow up in the second round, then to watch these guys pull the other car back out and put it together in the amount of time they had, then turn a win light on against Capps (Don Schumacher Racing teammate Ron Capps in the semifinals), then to be able to go to a final, it was huge and it speaks for itself.”

As for Hight, here’s his take on what happened with the motor explosion:

“I couldn’t see (Hagan) over there and it wasn’t like it was hazing the tires or anything else. As it turns out it wasn’t spinning at all. It kicked two rods out when it blacked the bearings in the crank then it hit the valves and blew up.

“The thing gave me no indication at all before that. What really scared me was once I got it under control and I look over and see his body is off his car. I am thinking ‘Oh man, he got gathered up in me.’ Then I stood up and looked and his injector was sideways so I realized he had an explosion as well. We are just lucky we didn’t get into each other.”

As for the guy who has had so much trouble in the motor department, John Force, he lost in the first round of Sunday’s eliminations to daughter Courtney Force.

John Force planned on shutting the motor off on his car at around the 700-foot mark of the 1,000-foot dragstrip, not wanting to risk another motor explosion – even though it meant a likely loss to his daughter.

Now John Force and his entire four-car team, including Courtney Force, Robert Hight and daughter and Top Fuel driver Brittany Force, will be off for extensive testing to try and determine what’s been causing the motor explosions.

“We have to evaluate it and go test,” Force said. “We’ll figure it out.”

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