British IndyCar driver Justin Wilson has died after suffering a head injury during Sunday’s race at Pocono Raceway, IndyCar announced Monday night. He was 37.
“Justin was a loving father and devoted husband, as well as a highly competitive racing driver who was respected by his peers,” Wilson’s family said in a statement. “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.”
Wilson was struck in the head during Sunday’s race by a piece of debris that flew off Sage Karam’s car. His car then crashed into a wall. Wilson was airlifted to a hospital, where he remained in a coma until he died on Monday.
Wilson had 120 races in his eight-year IndyCar career and won three times. He began his career in Europe, racing in his native England, and raced one season in Formula One in 2003. He then moved to the Champ Car World Series before making the jump to IndyCar in 2008.
“This is a monumentally sad day for IndyCar and the motorsports community as a whole,” Mark Miles, CEO of IndyCar’s parent company, 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.”
Video of the crash, which viewers may find disturbing, can be found here.
GALLERY: Justin Wilson's Racing Career