Dan Wheldon killed in crash at IndyCar season finale


Dan Wheldon, Bryan Herta Autosport with Curb/Agajanian

Wheldon pictured at the Indianapolis 500, which he won earlier this year

Dan Wheldon has lost his life following a crash at the start of the IndyCar season finale in Las Vegas.

Wheldon was running in the middle of the 34-car pack when the crash happened after 12 laps had been completed.

He was taken by helicopter to the University Medical Centre but succumbed to his injuries

IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard announced the news following a meeting with the drivers. He said: “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 honour of Dan.”

Fifteen cars were involved in the crash and three other drivers – Will Power, Pippa Mann and JR Hildebrand – were also injured.

The race was red-flagged and stopped following the accident, and abandoned after the news of Wheldon’s condition was announced. The remaining drivers staged a five-lap display run in Wheldon’s honour.

Wheldon, 33, won the IndyCar series in 2005. He won the Indianapolis 500 for the second time earlier this year in addition to the victory he scored in his championship year.

He did not have a full-time drive in the series in 2011 and the Las Vegas event was his third race of the year. He had started the race from last place and was in the running for a special prize of $5 million had he won.


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195 comments on Dan Wheldon killed in crash at IndyCar season finale

  1. Neil Davies (@neil-davies) said on 17th October 2011, 8:01

    Just seen the news now, and the very short clip of the aftermath I’ve seen looks like the absolute worst case scenario for this type of racing. I don’t get to watch Indy and I’m glad I wasn’t watching that live. I really hope the sport acknowledges this tragedy in the right way and makes a real effort to improve safety even further.

    These days complacency can set in so easily. Running open-wheel cars at 230+mph speeds in a concrete lined oval is about the most dangerous way of motor racing I can think of, but I wouldn’t for a second want to stop those guys and girls who get in the cars from doing it. They are absolute heros, and days like this remind me of that. I really feel for Dan Wheldon’s family and friends today.

  2. GeeMac (@geemac) said on 17th October 2011, 8:03

    Absolutely appalling news. I didn’t see the race and was in shock when I saw the news (and a picture of the incident). Dan was a real favourite of mine in the Indycar series and my thoughts are with his family and friends.

  3. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 17th October 2011, 8:12

    I was so very close to watching this last night but I had other plans.

    RIP Dan Wheldon.

  4. KeeleyObsessed (@keeleyobsessed) said on 17th October 2011, 8:16

    Now, I don’t (or never will) watch IndyCar, but having read up about his year’s Indy 500, I have (at least a small) understanding on how popular Dan Wheldon was, I would just like to add my name to the long list of people paying tribute to a great racer.

  5. Jess_reedii said on 17th October 2011, 8:20

    I saw him win at Indy and I was like man he still got it, just needs a good ride. Saw him do TV and he had a knack for it. Met him once at an autograph sesison in CA. Then saw the crash live and heard the news, I was not a huge fan but man I teared up. This just sucks.

  6. Red Andy (@red-andy) said on 17th October 2011, 8:42

    I watched events unfold last night. Horrible stuff.

    Questions need to be asked and will be asked about the circumstances leading to Dan Wheldon’s death, and I hope we get some satisfactory answers. But for the avoidance of doubt, it’s there on every ticket – motorsport is dangerous. We all knew that sitting at home, and Dan knew it too.

    You can slow the cars, build them safer, make the tracks safer too, but there will always be some circumstances where a human body is put into a situation it just can’t withstand. The words that remain with me, from Randy Bernard’s brief statement last night, are “unsurvivable injuries.” At least, from this desperately sad occasion, we can learn of ways to reduce the possibility of those circumstances occurring.

    But before all that, let’s pay tribute to a great racer and a great ambassador for motorsport. RIP Dan.

  7. Slr (@slr) said on 17th October 2011, 8:45

    I’m kind of glad I forgot to watch the race now, though I saw the accident on the news last night. I don’t really know what else to say at the moment, other than R.I.P Dan Wheldon.

  8. Juan Pablo (@juan-pablo) said on 17th October 2011, 8:48

    Just woke up to the news. Such a tragedy may he Rest in Peace.
    Thoughts go out to his young family.

  9. Chalky (@chalky) said on 17th October 2011, 8:48

    Terrible news. Dan was one of my favourite drivers. I wasn’t watching it live last night. As with all the Indycar races, I end up watching the highlights.
    My thoughts are with his family. May his children grow up proud that their father was an all time great racing driver. R.I.P. Dan.

  10. UNeedAFinn2Win said on 17th October 2011, 8:52

    Sad day in motorsports

    RIP Dan Wheldon

  11. CarolinaBlue704 (@carolinablue704) said on 17th October 2011, 8:56

    Sad day. I hope Indy Car learns from this.

  12. Dane. (@dane-1) said on 17th October 2011, 9:11

    Terrible news to hear of Dans passing. Feel so sad for his wife and young children. Very sad day

  13. nivek252 (@nivek252) said on 17th October 2011, 9:18

    I dont watch Indycar regularly but have a passing interest but watching this brought me to tears


    Its amazing how tragedies like this bring all motorsports together. RIP Dan.

  14. AlonsoWDC (@alonsowdc) said on 17th October 2011, 9:48


    I’ve had this on loop for a few hours.

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