Football Football

Germany’s stars in serious car crash


DRAXLER-GERMANYST MARTIN, May 28- A steward has told how he tried to stop the accident involving Germany’s World Cup stars when one of the cars they were passengers in hit him and a by-stander.

The accident at Germany’s pre-World Cup training camp in north Italy on Tuesday left the steward in hospital and the German by-stander in a serious condition following the crash during the filming of a television advert.

SID, an AFP subsidiary, reported on Wednesday that the 63-year-old by-stander is out of immediate danger.

Germany’s World Cup stars Julian Draxler and Benedikt Hoewedes were passengers in separate cars during the filming of the commercial for Mercedes, one of the German Football Association’s (DFB) main sponsors, when the accident happened.

The by-stander was airlifted to hospital, while the course steward, named only as Michael K., is also being treated after flying through the windscreen of the car driven by 19-year-old professional touring car driver Pascal Wehrlein.

Schalke centre-back Hoewedes is reported to have been Wehrlein’s passenger in the Mercedes involved in the accident, but the 26-year-old was unharmed.

Formula One driver Nico Rosberg, who was driving the other Mercedes car at the time of the crash, wrote on Twitter: “The accident shocked me, my thoughts are with both victims,” while Wehrlein is said to be very upset by the incident.

In an interview with the Hamburger Morgenpost, Michael K. described how he spotted the by-stander, thought to be a holiday maker looking for an autograph from the German footballers, on the closed Alpine course.

“He wanted to take a picture and also get an autograph,” he said, having suffered back, leg and elbow injuries in the impact.

“He wasn’t on the road, but was right next to it, a few metres in front of the barrier.

“I shouted to him loudly. I wanted to pull him back, but didn’t get to him in time.

“If it had taken two seconds longer, I would been directly hit and I could have been killed.”

The DFB cancelled a scheduled practise match between Joachim Loew’s World Cup squad and Germany’s Under-20 side on Tuesday evening.

The DFB are holding their 10-day training camp in the north Italian Alps which concludes on Saturday before their first World Cup match in Group G against Portugal in Salvador on June 16.