Tragedy struck this weekend’s Las Vegas Indy 300, as driver Dan Wheldon, 33, died from injuries sustained in a gruesome 15-car wreck just 13 laps into the race. Wheldon’s car sailed through the air outside turn two and smashed into a wall.
Yahoo! reports that the other drivers were told of Wheldon’s death at a meeting held two hours after the wreck. Some drivers reportedly called the crash the worst they’ve ever seen. The crash comes after some drivers voiced concerns about the high speeds reached at the Las Vegas circuit, as cars were traveling at up to 225 miles per hour during practice.
IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard issued a statement after the race saying that IndyCar “is very sad to announce that Dan Wheldon has passed away from unsurvivable injuries.” Bernard went on to announce that the race had been stopped, but drivers chose to salute the two-time Indianapolis 500 winner with a five-lap run in his honor.
Wheldon, a 16-time IndyCar race winner, 2003 rookie of the year and two-time winner of the Indianapolis 500, including this year’s, was among the most skilled drivers in motorsports. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Wheldon and his family.