Brit hit and run skier puts MEP in clinic

A leading conservative politician has suffered serious injuries in a hit and run skiing crash.Othmar Karas, a member of the European Parliament (MEP) for the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP), suffered several fractures and cuts in the collision with a man from the United Kingdom on Tuesday, it emerged today (Fri).Reports have it that Karas handed his business card to the uninjured Briton who skied on after the accident in the Schmittenhöhe ski resort near Zell am See in Salzburg. Police tracked down the skier in his hotel later on the same day. The man – who was not put in custody – may face charges over the incident since hit and run skiing is a criminal offence under Austrian law.Karas sustained severe head injuries in two car crashes in the 1980s. He has been part of the Group of the European People’s Party (EPP) in the EP since 1999.News that Karas has to be hospitalised after a collision on the slopes comes weeks after Deputy ÖVP Governor of Salzburg Wilfried Haslauer broke his thigh in a skiing accident in Saalbach-Hinterglemm.Earlier this week, the federal interior ministry said police in the Austrian Alps recorded 195 hit and run skiing offences between 1 November last year and 15 January 2011. The ministry added that 242 hit and run incidents were registered on the country’s pistes in the same time span of the previous skiing season.Fifteen skiers and snowboarders died in accidents on the slopes in the Austrian mountains this winter before 7 February.