The racing community and sport fans are shocked by IndyCar driver Justin Wilson’s death. Last Sunday afternoon Wilson suffered a severe head injury at Pocona Raceway. He remained hospitalized in a coma and in critical condition, since Sunday 23th, but lost the race for life, several hours later.
Sage Karam was leading the 500-mile race with 21 laps to go, when he crashed in front of the field. In the closing laps of the race Karam spun in Turn 1 and debris flew from his car.
Apparently the nose cone of Karam’s car hit Wilson in the helmet. Nose cones are particularly heavier than other pieces of the car. After being hit, Wilson, perhaps unconscious, veered off and had a head-on collision with the inside wall, which was protected by a SAFER barrier.
Medical units quickly arrived on the scene. He was swarmed by the safety crew and airlifted by helicopter from the track to the Lehigh Valley Health Network Cedar Crest Hospital in Allentown, Pa.
The race resumed and Wilson’s teammate, Ryan Hunter-Reay, took the victory in Sunday’s race, but not before racing community, sports fans and IndyCar showed their concern and support to Justin’s family. Hunter-Reay’s joy disappeared when he learned of the seriousness of Wilson’s injuries. He said he was going straight to the hospital to see his 37-year-old partner.
The Associated Press reported Wilson’s wife, Julia, was transported to Pennsylvania from their home in Colorado by IndyCar, while the three-time NASCAR champion and former IndyCar champion Tony Stewart lent his plane and pilots to Wilson’s younger brother, Stefan Wilson, so he could get to his side.
Justin’s accident is not rare nor the first driver who gets hit in the head by debris. In 2014 James Hinchcliffe suffered a concussion when he was hit from flying parts at the 2014 Grand Prix of Indianapolis.
However, one thing is sure: Sunday’s incident and Wilson’s unfortunate death, opened up the discussions regarding; What measures should be taken to increase driver safety?
The two most common reactions on how to prevent this injury will be if the nose piece needs to be tethered to the car and whether the car should remain an open-cockpit vehicle.
Nonetheless, putting a canopy on a car would raise several concerns from both a competitive and safety standpoint. They would weigh more and could impact the aerodynamics of the car.
Thoughtful Until the End
British driver Justin Wilson, seemed to have a plan to help others even after life. Wilson was an organ donor. His younger brother Stefan Wilson tweeted this Tuesday: “Justin Wilson saved 6 lives today. He just keeps setting the bar higher. Keep Julia & the girls in your prayers.”
All Our Love and Support
Booking Per Head, sends all best wishes, love and support to Justin Wilson’s family, teammates and friends. We truly regret that this great athlete and race car pilot, drove away from this world. Our deepest sympathy and condolences…