Fine Reduced for Maier's Accident Culprit

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MUNICH, Germany, Feb. 5 2004 (AP) -- The man convicted of negligent driving in the traffic accident that nearly cost Olympic skiing champion Hermann Maier his right leg had his fine reduced by a Munich court Thursday.

The 75-year-old man, whose name was not released in keeping with German court practice, was ordered to pay $945, down from the original fine of $3,456. His one-month driving ban was also lifted.

The man had appealed the original fine.

The court ruled the man did not make an illegal left turn, but that he did not pay enough attention to the traffic behind him. It also ruled that Maier was passing on his motorcycle without a clear line of vision.

The accident occurred in August 2001, 2001, when Maier was overtaking a column of cars in the town of Radstadt, near his home town of Flachau.

Maier slammed into the car, which had just begun making a left turn when the accident occurred.

The crash nearly cost Maier his right leg, and he spent months recovering. The two-time Olympic champion returned to competition last season.

Copyright © 2004 The Associated Press