Two-time Indy 500 winner Dan Wheldon has died of injuries he sustained in a massive 15-car crash at the Las Vegas Indy 300 earlier today.
Wheldon's car had catapulted over other cars during the crash, which occurred on Lap 12, catching part of the fence outside Turn 2. Wheldon was airlifted to a local hospital in "serious" condition, but later succumbed to his injuries. Randy Bernard, IndyCar CEO, made the announcement of Wheldon's death and cancelled the race after a five-lap tribute.
Earlier this year, Wheldon, 33, scored a storybook Indy 500 win, which he later dedicated to his mother, who'd recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease. Replaced at Panther racing by J.R Hildebrand early in the season, Wheldon then landed a seat with Bryan Herta Autosport. Wheldon won Indy when Hildebrand crashed out on the last lap.
Without a ride for the rest of the season, Wheldon had been eligible for Bernard's offer to award $5 million to any non-regular series driver who won the season finale at Las Vegas.
(Warning: video may be disturbing to some viewers.)
In his Associated Press obituary, Wheldon is said to have moved to the U.S. from his native England hoping to win the Indy 500, which he eventually did, twice — in 2005 and 2011. He also scored 16 career IndyCar wins, and won the series championship in 2005.
Wheldon is survived by his wife Susie and two sons: Sebastian, 2, and Oliver, 6 months.
(Photo: Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Sadly, crashing is an inevitable part of racing. The sport we love has taken many of our heroes, and although tragedy is never pleasant, it's important to remember who we've lost. More »