Brit skier ‘treated like a criminal’

A skier from the United Kingdom who collided with an Austrian politician has claimed police treated him “like a criminal”.Andy Clough from Leeds did not sustain any injuries in the incident in the Schmittenhöhe ski resort, Salzburg, involving People’s Party (ÖVP) Member of the European Parliament Othmar Karas last Monday.Karas, who fractured his lumber vertebra in the crash, told police he handed Clough his business card before the Brit skied on. Clough was fined 1,000 Euros for his actions but does not face any further legal consequences.Now Clough launched a harsh attack on Austrian police.The 53-year-old told the Kronen Zeitung newspaper today (Mon): “I admitted my wrongdoings and paid my fine which I don’t mind. But I’m shocked what happened. I was treated like a criminal.”Clough said: “Police got me out of bed in the morning and kept me at the station all morning. The interpreter had to look up some words on the internet.”The retired policeman added: “I didn’t hit and run. We exchanged our addresses instantly after the crash. I left feeling assured that the man wasn’t hurt. He skied on too.”The skiing enthusiast, who spent many winter holidays in Austria, claimed the case “would be a big scandal in England.”He said: “You don’t treat people who honestly exchanged all information that way. I wish the injured man all the best and a quick recovery.”Salzburg court officials said on Friday charges of negligent bodily harm were dropped after Clough agreed to paying a fine of 1,000 Euros. “He took responsibility for the accident,” a spokesman announced.Clough was also ordered to pay 500 Euros in compensation to Karas. It has not yet been announced when the politician – who is married to the daughter of late Austrian president Kurt Waldheim – will be discharged from the AKH Clinic in Zell am See.Around 200 hit and run incidents have been registered by police in the Austrian Alps so far this winter.