Monday, August 24, 2015

I Saw A Man Die Yesterday, Part 2

Four years ago, at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, I was at the Indy car race in which Dan Wheldon died.
Yesterday, I was watching the Indy car race at Pocono when Justin Wilson hit a piece of debris from a crash involving another driver.  The debris hit Wilson in the helmet when Wilson was going probably close to 200 mph (where was his spotter?).  Wilson was knocked out from the debris, probably brain dead instantly, crashed hard and the safety crew got him out and had him airlifted to a local hospital.
From ESPN:
  • Justin Wilson, who had seven victories in a 12-year career in U.S.-based open-wheel circuits, died Monday. He was 37.
  • IndyCar made the announcement Monday night at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
    The Englishman was competing in his sixth race this year for Andretti Autosport. What had originally been a two-race deal for both Indianapolis Motor Speedway events was recently expanded to include the final five races of 2015.
    Wilson was airlifted to Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest in Allentown, Pennsylvania, on Sunday evening with a head injury, after it appeared he was struck on the helmet by debris from Sage Karam's one-car crash, which occurred in front of Wilson on the track.
    With Wilson possibly unconscious, his car speared at nearly unabated speed into an angled wall protected by a SAFER barrier on the inside of the exit of Turn 1, near a gap in the wall where safety vehicles enter the track.
    "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!'' Wilson's younger brother, Stefan, also an IndyCar driver, tweeted.
    Wilson was known among drivers as a gentle giant. Soft-spoken and deeply analytical, Wilson was one of the most popular drivers, and his strong, technical ability in suggesting tweaks to help the car perform better was evident in the Andretti team's recently improved form. Wilson finished second in the IndyCar race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Aug. 2 in his last event before Pocono.
    RIP to Wilson, prayers for the family, friends and fellow Indy Car crews.

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