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Dan Wheldon killed in Las Vegas accident

16 October 2011

Dan Wheldon, the 2005 IndyCar Series champion and double Indy 500 winner, has died following an accident in the final round of the 2011 season in Las Vegas.

The 33-year-old was one of number of drivers involved in a multi-car accident in the early stages of the race, with his Sam Schmidt Motorsports car being launched into the wall on the outside of the circuit when cars clashed ahead.

Wheldon's car suffered extensive damage in the incident, with the Briton being treated at the circuit before being airlifted to University Medical Centre.

Following a meeting of drivers at the circuit, the announcement was then made that Wheldon had passed away in hospital from 'unsurvivable injuries'.

The full statement from IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard read: "IndyCar is sad to announce that 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. We will run a five-lap salute in honor of Dan."

Most of the other drivers involved in the 15-car accident escaped without injury, although JR Hildebrand and Pippa Mann were dispatched to hospital by ground ambulance and Will Power was also sent to hospital later after complaining of lower back pain.

Wheldon's #77 number was placed at the top of the score board at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, with the season finale being abandoned. Instead, Wheldon's fellow drivers elected to perform a five lap salute in his honour.

Dan Wheldon, originally from Emberton in Buckinghamshire, is survived by his wife Susie and his two young sons, 2-year-old Sebastian and baby Oliver, who was born in March just before Wheldon won his second Indianapolis 500 in May.

The thoughts of all at Crash.net are with Wheldon's friends and family at this time.


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