Dan Wheldon, Indy Car driver and father of two children, was killed Sunday in a fiery 15-car pileup at the Las Vegas Indy 300.
Wheldon, 33, had not been driving regularly this season, reportedly because he was taking time off to spend with his wife and two young boys, Sebastian, 2, and Oliver, seven months. The Las Vegas race was the last race of the year, and Wheldon was to split the $5 million purse with a fan if he won. Before the race, he wrote in a blog post for USA Today, “This is going to be an amazing show.”
After two cars’ tires collided, fifteen Indy racers were involved in a massive crash on the 11th lap that saw cars bursting into flames. Wheldon’s car was flipped into the air and went headlong into the track fence. He was airlifted to a nearby hospital and died two hours later.
USA Today reports that, later, “When drivers returned to the track for the tribute laps, Wheldon’s No. 77 was the only one on the towering scoreboard. [Indy driver Dario] Franchitti sobbed uncontrollably as he got back into his car for the memorial ride. The sound of Danny Boy echoed around the track, followed byAmazing Grace.”
Photo credit: ABC News