Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon died in a fiery wreck on Sunday at the IndyCar season finale race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon died after his car was caught in a 15 vehicle accident and went airborne before crashing into a catch fence.
Drivers were only 11 laps into the race when driver Wade Cunningham‘s car appeared to swerve on the track. JR Hildebrand clipped the left rear of Cunningham’s vehicle and went airborne. Cunningham’s car veered into the wall and cars behind the two drivers began sliding all over the track and careening into each other and the walls. The IndyCar Dan Wheldon crash video below shows the extreme carnage on the track during the huge wreck.
Dan Wheldon had been moving up through the pack, hugging the bottom lane, when he was forced into a tangle of racers and clipped another car. Wheldon’s car was launched into the air and slammed against the outer wall and catch fence, exploding into flames.
Fifteen cars were damaged in the massive pileup and several drivers injured, including JR Hildebrand and Pippa Mann, but it was Dan Wheldon who suffered the saddest fate. Wheldon was airlifted to the nearby University Medical Center, but could not be saved. IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard announced Dan Wheldon’s death two hours later and declared the final IndyCar race of the season finished.
“IndyCar is very sad to announce that Dan Wheldon has passed away from unsurvivable injuries,” Bernard said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family today. IndyCar, its drivers and owners, have decided to end the race.”
Wheldon’s fellow drivers, some of them weeping, drove around the track in a five-lap saltute to their fallen comrade as fans cheered from the stadium. Wheldon is survived by his wife Susie and sons Sebastien and Olivier.