Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Justin Wilson dead: Ex-F1 driver passes away after suffering severe head injury during high-speed crash

Ex-F1 driver Justin Wilson lost his fight for life on Monday after succumbing to a severe head injury he suffered during an IndyCar smash in Pennsylvania on Sunday.
The 37-year-old from Sheffield was left in a coma after the high-speed crash, which saw him being hit on the head by an airborne nose cone before he careered into a safety barrier.
IndyCar were first to make the announcement of his passing at the request of his family on Monday evening.

"This is a monumentally sad day for IndyCar and the motorsports community as a whole," IndyCar CEO Mark Miles said in a statement.
"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."
Getty / NASCAR
Shortly after, Wilson's family also released a statement thanking fans for their outpouring of support as well as the staff at Lehigh Valley Health Network hospital, where he was taken following the crash.
"Justin was a loving father and devoted husband, as well as a highly competitive racing driver who was respected by his peers," the statement read.
"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 has requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Wilson Children’s Fund care of INDYCAR."
The racing ace leaves behind his wife Julia and their two daughters, who are seven and five years old.
IndyCar racer Justin Wilson suffers severe head injury, in coma after Pocono crash
NASCARPocono Speedway Sage Karam and Justin Wilson Crash
NASCARPocono Speedway Sage Karam and Justin Wilson Crash
Within minutes of the announcements tributes flooded in for the "gentle giant".
NASCAR star Max Papis tweeted: "RIP @justin_wilson a GENTLE GIANT with a special heart My prayers with his family form all at Papis family."
Race legend Tony Stewart's team added: "Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Justin Wilson and the IndyCar community. Rest in peace and Godspeed."
Former Indy 500 Champ Tony Kanaan wrote: "Oh man, my heart is aching another friend gone. Godspeed to one of racing's truest gentlemen. #justinwilson."
His brother Stefan Wilson shared: "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!”
American driver Sage Karam, whose car debris struck Wilson, said: "I can't find the proper words to describe the pain and sympathy I feel for Justin and his family. #RIPJustin.”
IndyCar racer Justin Wilson suffers severe head injury, in coma after Pocono crash
IndyCar racer Justin Wilson suffers severe head injury, in coma after Pocono crash
IndyCar racer Justin Wilson suffers severe head injury, in coma after Pocono crash
Wilson won three IndyCar races out of the 120 he has entered after seven years in the sport.
His was involved in F1 for one season - 2003 - driving for Minardi before switching to Jaguar.
Despite picking up his first point during the US Grand Prix, the team opted against keeping him on and instead Wilson moved to the Champ Car World Series.
Motor racing has worked tirelessly to improve safety measures that prevent incidents such as these from occurring.
Henry Surtees - son of ex-F1 driver John - tragically died during an F2 race at Brands Hatch in 2009 after being struck on the head by a wheel from another car.
In the same year, Brazilian Felipe Massa suffered a fractured skull after being hit on the head by a 700g spring while travelling at 175mph.
He returned the following year after surgery.