Wheldon dies from injuries
|By Charles Bradley||Sunday, October 16th 2011, 22:01 GMT|
Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner and 2005 IndyCar Series champion Dan Wheldon has died from his injuries sustained in a crash at the IndyCar Series finale at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, it has been confirmed. He was 33.
Wheldon was moving his way through the 34-car field after starting from the back of the pack, which was part of his $5 million challenge to win the race. His was one of the last cars to get involved in the crash, and was sent flying from the bottom of the racetrack into the wall on the outside.
Wheldon's Sam Schmidt Motorsports car suffered severe damage to the topside, including its rollhoop structure, and once he was extracted and other drivers were treated at the scene, his car was quickly covered with tarpaulin.
Wheldon was airlifted from the circuit's infield care centre to University Medical Centre in Las Vegas, but all medical efforts were to no avail.
Series chief Randy Bernard confirmed the news at 3pm, local time, and said: "IndyCar is very sad to announce Dan Wheldon passed away from unsurvivable injuries.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with Dan and his family. IndyCar, its drivers and teams have decided to end the race."
The race was red-flagged on lap 12 and was abandoned some two hours later. The drivers instead returned to their cars and performed a five-lap salute in Wheldon's honour.