IndyCar driver Justin Wilson died Monday from the severe head injury he sustained during Sundayâ€™s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Pocono Raceway.
The 37-year-old was hit by debris after Sage Karamâ€™s car spun and crashed on the 179th lap of the 200-lap race. The nose of Karamâ€™s car struck Wilson in the head before it ricocheted high into the air. Wilson appeared to lose control as his car turned and headed straight for the interior wall.
Wilson was immediately airlifted to Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest in Allentown, Pennsylvania, where he was in critical condition. Wilsonâ€™s injury was too severe and his death was announced Monday by IndyCar CEO Mark Miles in a press conference.
â€œThis is a monumentally sad day for IndyCar and the motorsports community as a whole,â€ Miles said. â€œJustinâ€™s elite ability to drive a race car was matched by his unwavering kindness, character and humilityâ€”which is what made him one of the most respected members of the paddock. As we know, the racing industry is one big family, and our efforts moving forward will be focused on rallying around Justinâ€™s family to ensure they get the support they need during this unbelievably difficult time.â€
Wilson had seven victories during his 12-year career, and the native of England was one of the most liked drivers among his peers.
Wilson is the first driver to die in a major U.S.-based auto race since Dan Wheldon in 2011. He is survived by his wife Julia and daughters Jane, 7, and Jessica, 5.