Helmet may not have stopped Gaspard Ulliel from fatal head injury in skiing accident, researchers reveal
French actor Gaspard Ulliel received such a blow to the head when he crashed while skiing Tuesday that he likely would have died even if he was wearing a helmet, investigators have revealed.
Ulliel bumped into a second skier, a Lithuanian national in his early 40s, who testified to Savoyard investigators two days after the incident.
The collision would have thrown the actor off balance, but probably wasn’t particularly violent, investigators heard in an interview that lasted more than an hour. Le Parisien.
Ulliel then probably hit the ground at full speed, causing a fatal head injury.
French actor Gaspard Ulliel who stars in upcoming Marvel series Moon Knight has died aged 37 in a skiing accident (pictured on a previous skiing holiday)
The star gained international attention for his portrayal of a young Hannibal Lecter in Hannibal Rising (pictured with Rhys Ifans)
The French actor is also the face of Chanel’s men’s perfume Blue de Chanel (pictured)
The accident happened at the intersection of two blue runs in the resort of Rosiere in Savoie (photo)
The impact to the ground would likely have been fatal, with or without a helmet, said an expert, who compared the accident to a bicycle hitting a wall traveling at 25 miles per hour.
Ulliel suffered serious head trauma and was immediately transported by helicopter to a hospital in Grenoble, where he died the following Wednesday from the effects of his injuries.
Michael Schumacher was treated at the same clinic when he suffered his head injury in a skiing accident, according to picture.
The second skier in the crash suffered no significant injuries and was wearing a helmet at the time.
Mountaineers said weather conditions were good at the time of the incident.
“Conditions were good, and not dangerous. There were other adults who were not wearing helmets on the slopes,” a witness to the tragedy told investigators.
Albertville prosecutor Anne Gaches said Mr Ulliel died at 4 p.m. Wednesday after attempts were made to rescue him at Grenoble University Hospital.
Ms Gaches said in a statement: “Yesterday, January 18, 2022, at 4 pm, in Montvalezan, in the ski resort of the La Rosière resort located in the Haute Tarentaise massif, Mr Gaspard Ulliel collided with another skier on the top of the blue run called Tetras.
“He had just branched off to the left, presumably to join his friends who were on the Gellinotte flight.
“An inquest was immediately entrusted to investigators of the CRS (Republican Security Company), Albertville Detachment, by the Albertville Prosecutor.
“From the first testimonies and the observations on the spot, it appears that the two skiers both fell to the ground,” Mr Gaches continued.
“When help arrived, Mr. Gaspard Ulliel lay motionless, unconscious in the snow. The other skier was unharmed.
“Transferred by helicopter to the University Hospital of Grenoble, the death of Mr Gaspard Ulliel was announced shortly after 4 pm today by the doctor of the intensive care unit of this hospital.”
His family confirmed the death in a statement his agent gave to AFP, after which authorities launched an investigation shortly after.
Ulliel won a 2017 Cesar – the French equivalent of an Oscar – for Best Actor for It’s Only the End of the World, in which he co-starred with Marion Cotillard and Lea Seydoux.
He had already won a Cesar for Most Promising Actor in 2004 after co-starring with Audrey Tautou in the World War I drama A Very Long Engagement.
Ulliel shares a five-year-old son with model singer Gaëlle Piétri (pictured together in 2015)
The actor won a Cesar for Most Promising Actor in 2004 after his performance in the World War I drama A Very Long Engagement (pictured)
Ulliel, who shares a five-year-old son with model singer Gaëlle Piétri, played Yves Saint Laurent in a 2014 biopic.
Mountain police serving the accident site said they have organized five or six rescues a day in recent days as the snow has hardened.
In the neighboring region of Haute-Savoie, a five-year-old girl was killed when a skier hit her on Saturday.
The man was provisionally charged with manslaughter, according to the Haute-Savoie prosecutor, who cited speeding as the likely reason for the accident.
Tributes poured in from shocked fans, politicians and celebrities around the world.
Ulliel suffered serious head trauma and was immediately hospitalized in Grenoble, where he died as a result of his injuries
French Prime Minister Jean Castex tweeted a tribute saying: “Gaspard Ulliel grew up with cinema and cinema grew up with him. They loved each other dearly.’
Thierry Fremaux, director of the Cannes Film Festival, said: ‘Gaspard belonged to this new generation of actors who made the French cinema of tomorrow.
He was equally brilliant and talented. He gave a lot and we will always remember him.’
A Disney spokesperson also told: Variety: ‘It is with sadness that we learn of the tragic passing of our friend and colleague Gaspard Ulliel.
“Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time.”
French Culture Minister Roselyne Bachelot added: ‘Such a brilliant actor who was plucked by the sickle of death at the peak of his career.
‘He was present in our lives for almost 20 years with wonderful performances.’
Ulliel (pictured in a Chanel ad) was born just outside Paris on November 25, 1984 to a producer’s father and a stylist’s mother, and suffered a small scar from a dog bite as a child.
He was just 11 when he started working on screen after a friend of his mother suggested he join her acting agency
Pierre Niney, who also played Yves Saint Laurent in a rival film that won a Cesar award, said he was “heartbroken.”
He added: ‘Gaspart was benevolence and kindness. Beauty and talent.’
Born just outside Paris on November 25, 1984, to a producer father and stylist mother, Ulliel suffered a small scar from a dog bite as a child.
He said it helped him because it looked like a dimple.
He was only 11 when he started working on screen after a friend of his mother suggested he join her acting agency.
His first major role came in 2002 when he co-starred with Charlotte Rampling in Summer Things, for which he won Most Promising Actor at the Lumieres Awards and was nominated for a Cesar.
One of his directors described him as something of an enigma.
“He’s a strange boy, hard to penetrate,” said Rodolphe Marconi, who directed him in one of his early films, The Last Day.
The accident brought back memories of when Formula 1 great Michael Schumacher hit his head in a 2013 skiing accident in the French ski resort of Meribel, about 50 kilometers from where Ulliel was skiing.
Both were treated at Grenoble University Hospital.
The first trailer for the upcoming TV series Moon Knight was released only on Tuesday, starring Oscar Isaac and Ethan Hawke.
The show will debut on the Disney Plus streaming service on March 30.
Ulliel will play the role of Anton Mogart, aka Midnight Man, in the upcoming Marvel show, based on the comic book character created in 1975 by writer Doug Moench and artist Don Perlin.