IndyCar Driver Justin Wilson Dies After Crash
CNN/Stylemagazine.com Newswire | 8/25/2015, 10:28 a.m.
By Michael Pearson
(CNN) -- IndyCar driver Justin Wilson died Monday from injuries he suffered when struck by a part that careened off a crashed race car.
The nose cone of driver Sage Karam's car flew off after he crashed Sunday at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania, and struck Wilson in the head. Wilson's No. 25 Andretti Autosport Honda then hit a wall before coming to rest on the track.
"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," said Mark Miles, CEO of the parent company of IndyCar. "He will be missed."
Unlike NASCAR vehicles, IndyCar vehicles have an open cockpit, leaving racers more exposed.
The accident happened with 21 laps left in the ABC Supply 500.
Wilson, 37, was flown to Lehigh Valley Health Network-Cedar Crest Hospital in Allentown, Pennsylvania, according to IndyCar.
Karam was also taken to the hospital for evaluation of a foot injury. He tweeted Monday night about Wilson's death.
Driver Ryan Hunter-Reay, who won the race, said the accident looked terrifying.
"Just to be an innocent bystander like that and get hit in the head with a nose cone is a scary thought," Hunter-Reay said.
"He has a family, just like I do. He's a great friend, a teammate. Can't say enough about the guy on and off the racetrack."
Andretti Autosport said while Wilson was a member of the Andretti lineup for a short time, "it only took a second for him to forever become part of the Andretti family. His life and racing career is a story of class and passion surpassed by none."
Wilson is survived by his wife, Julia; two daughters; his parents, Keith and Lynne; and his brother, Stefan.
"Justin was a loving father and devoted husband, as well as a highly competitive racing driver who was respected by his peers," his family said in a statement Monday.
"The family would like to thank the staff at the Lehigh Valley Health Network Cedar Crest Hospital, Pocono Raceway, Andretti Autosport, and the Verizon IndyCar Series as well as the entire racing community for the amazing outpouring of support from fans around the world."
The family requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Wilson Children's Fund, care of IndyCar.
CNN's Jill Martin and Drew Iden contributed to this report.
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