Schalke duo Julian Draxler and Benedikt Howedes were involved in a car accident that left "two people in hospital," according to Phil Duncan of the Daily Mail.
Formula One pacesetter Nico Rosberg and DTM driver Pascal Wehrlein were driving the players separately in a promotional shoot for Mercedes, when the latter racer's vehicle hit two people. Although none of the aforementioned quartet were seriously injured, the duo who made contact with Wehrlein's car were treated at the scene before being taken to hospital.
Rosberg tweeted his reaction shortly after the accident happened:
I am shocked by the accident. My thoughts are with the two people who were injured and I wish them a fast recovery— Nico Rosberg (@nico_rosberg) May 27, 2014
The incident took place in Italy's South Tyrol region, where the German national team have been preparing for the upcoming World Cup. Mercedes released an official response on its Facebook page in the aftermath of the event and confirmed it "cannot offer any statement concerning the severity of injuries."
Instead, the company confirmed it "will work in full cooperation with the authorities in determining the exact circumstances of the accident."
Nicola Pohl, reporter for German newspaper Bild, offered further information on those who suffered injuries:
63 years old man with head injuries in hospital. second victim, a marshal, slightly injured. Rosberg and Wehrlein shocked but okay!— Nicola Pohl (@NicolaBILD) May 27, 2014
Wehrlein was driving behind @nico_rosberg .When Rosberg had to brake, Pascal shifted out of the way and unfortunately ran over 2 people!— Nicola Pohl (@NicolaBILD) May 27, 2014
The recovery of both victims is paramount here. It is something of a freak accident to see a professional driver collide with anyone in an unpressured situation, but the shoot was being conducted on a road that had been closed off to the public, per Duncan's report.
Each of the stars involved will need to shake the incident off quickly. Rosberg, who thrust himself to the top of the F1 standings with his recent Monaco Grand Prix victory, next steps into the spotlight for June 8's Canadian race.
Both Draxler and Howedes can be expected to participate at the upcoming World Cup. Although the duo may be on the brink of Joachim Low's first team, potentially taking on a rotational role throughout testing conditions in the tournament, they need to be fully focused on matches against Ghana, Portugal and the USA.
General manager Oliver Bierhoff said the incident "was a big shock for the team" in quotes reported by Reuters via the Guardian, adding that Draxler and Howedes "were extremely affected by it." Bierhoff also explained that a sports psychologist had been made available to the two players.
Wehrlein, who is just 19 years old, currently races with HWA Team—a subsidiary of Mercedes—in the German touring cars championship. His next engagement comes at the Hungaroring, Budapest, on Sunday.
Mercedes is expected to release an update on the situation soon.