IndyCar driver Justin Wil­son dead


English driver Justin Wil­son was de­clared dead af­ter suf­fer­ing a se­vere head in­jury dur­ing an IndyCar race in Penn­syl­va­nia, plung­ing the sport into mourn­ing and trig­ger­ing calls for a re­view of safety mea­sures.

Wil­son, 37, had been in a coma since Sun­day, when a large piece of de­bris from another racer s car struck his hel­met on the fi­nal laps of the "Tricky Tri­an­gle" of Po­cono Race­way in the penul­ti­mate race of the sea­son. Friends and loved ones of the Sheffield-born racer had flown to be at his bed­side at Le­high Val­ley Health Net­work Cedar Crest Hos­pi­tal in Al­len­town ear­lier Mon­day be­fore his death was an­nounced.

"This is a mon­u­men­tally sad day for IndyCar and the mo­tor­sports com­mu­nity as a whole," said Mark Miles, chief ex­ec­u­tive of the par­ent com­pany which runs IndyCar and the In­di­anapo­lis Mo­tor Speed­way. "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."

Wil­son s younger brother Ste­fan, also a rac­ing driver, paid trib­ute on Twit­ter. "Can t even be­gin to de­scribe the loss I feel right now. He was my Brother, my best friend, my role model and men­tor. He was a cham­pion!" he wrote. "I of­ten told him, I just want to grow up to be half the man he is, as that will make me a pretty good man." An­dretti Au­tosport team also paid trib­ute, de­scrib­ing Wil­son as a "tremen­dous racer, a valu­able mem­ber of the team." "We are deeply sad­dened by the pass­ing of Justin Wil­son," An­dretti Au­tosport said in a state­ment.

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