Justin Wilson succumbs to injuries
British IndyCar driver Justin Wilson has died from injuries sustained in a freak accident during the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono.
Wilson, 37, lost his life after being struck in the head by what appeared to be the nose cone dislodged from Sage Karam’s Chip Ganassi machine after he hit the wall heavily in a single-car accident.
IndyCar chief executive Mark Miles delivered the solemn news in a press conference from Indianapolis.
“This is a monumentally sad day for IndyCar and the motorsports community as a whole,” IndyCar chief executive Mark Miles said.
“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.
“He passed away in the company of his family his brother Stefan, his loving wife Julia and his parents Keith and and Lynn.
“Justin’s elite ability to drive a racecar was matched by his unwavering kindness, character and humility which made him one of the most respected members of the paddock.”
A trust fund has been set up to support Wilson’s daughters Jane, 7, and Jessica, 5.
Wilson’s family has since released the below statement.
“With deep sadness, the parents of Justin Wilson, Keith and Lynne, his wife Julia, and his brother Stefan share the news that Justin passed away today after succumbing to injuries suffered during the Verizon IndyCar event at Pocono Raceway on Sunday, August 23,” read the statement.
“Justin was a loving father and devoted husband, as well as a highly competitive racing driver who was respected by his peers.
“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.”
An Andretti Autosport statement read: “He was a tremendous racer, a valuable member of the team and respected representative to our sport.
“While Justin was only part of the Andretti lineup for a short time, it only took a second for him to forever become part of the Andretti family.
“His life and racing career is a story of class and passion surpassed by none. Our thoughts and prayers remain with the Wilson family and fans worldwide.”
Wilson Children’s Fund
4551 West 16th Street
Indianapolis, IN 46222
Tributes from around the motor racing community have already started to flow on social media.
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!
— Stefan Wilson (@stef_wilson) August 25, 2015
So distraught to hear the news of Justin’s passing. He was such a fantastic human being & will be dearly missed. — Will Power (@12WillPower) August 25, 2015
My thoughts and prayers are with his family. #RIPJustin
— Will Power (@12WillPower) August 25, 2015
RIP Justin. You were a pleasure to team with. A true professional. I have never been so saddened. Life is so fragile. pic.twitter.com/zQLcpCTcX8
— James Davison (@JDDavison007) August 25, 2015
— Simon Pagenaud (@simonpagenaud) August 25, 2015
So sad to hear that we lost Justin Wilson today. Thoughts & prayers to his family and friends.
— Jeff Gordon (@JeffGordonWeb) August 25, 2015
— Matthew Brabham (@MattyBrabs) August 25, 2015
Father, Husband, Friend, just an amazing human being. We will miss you to no end. Love to the Wilson Family. #RIPJustin
— Scott Dixon (@scottdixon9) August 25, 2015
Really sad news. This is happening way too often. Thoughts with his family and friends #RIPJustinWilson
— Lee Holdsworth (@LeeHoldsworth) August 25, 2015
This sport can be so damn harsh. It breaks my heart. I wish Justin's family all my love and support
— Daniel Ricciardo (@danielricciardo) August 25, 2015
Last night a very good man left us. Mate. So sorry. RIP Justin My thoughts are with your loved ones.
— Mark Webber (@AussieGrit) August 25, 2015
#RIPJustinWilson, my thoughts are with his family and friends. So sad, difficult to accept.
— Fernando Alonso (@alo_oficial) August 25, 2015
I raced with Justin as far back as 1989 in Karting and remember his smile was infectious, such a lovely guy. #RIPJustin
— Jenson Button (@JensonButton) August 25, 2015