IndyCar driver Justin Wilson died Monday from a head injury sustained in a freak accident Sunday at Pocono Raceway. He was 37.
A piece of debris struck Wilson’s head during Sunday’s race following a crash by fellow IndyCar Series driver Sage Karam with 21 laps to go. Video of the incident appears to show the nose cone of Karam’s car striking Wilson’s helmet. The nose cone is reportedly much heavier than other pieces of IndyCar bodywork.
Wilson fell into a coma following the accident and died Monday evening at Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest in Allentown, PA.
Wilson is survived by his wife Julia and two children.
“This is a monumentally sad day for IndyCar and the motorsports community as a whole,” IndyCar CEO Mark Miles said. “Justin’s elite ability to drive a race car was matched by his unwavering kindness, character and humility—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 Justin’s family to ensure they get the support they need during this unbelievably difficult time.”
Following a full investigation into the accident, IndyCar will address questions surrounding Wilson’s death. Questions will focus on whether cars can be built to not break apart as easily, and if canopies are a viable option.
Wilson’s death is the first for an IndyCar driver since Dan Wheldon, who died in a large crash at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 2011.
As always when these tragedies occur, the thoughts and prayers of everyone at OnAllCylinders and the Summit Racing family are with Wilson’s family and friends, and the many drivers affected by his passing.