This evening, the tragic news was announced that Verizon IndyCar Series driver Justin Wilson has passed away from injuries sustained in yesterday’s race at Pocono Raceway. Wilson suffered a head injury after being struck by a piece of debris from another car after an accident late in the race. The Holmatro Safety Team arrived on the scene, and he was then airlifted to Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest in Allentown, Pa. He was in a coma and in critical condition upon arrival, and passed away this evening.
Wilson was 37 years old, and is survived by his wife, Julia, and two daughters. In lieu of flowers, a fund has been set up for Wilson children. Donations may be sent to: Wilson Children’s Fund, c/o INDYCAR, 4551 W. 16th St., Indianapolis, IN 46222.
The family released the following statement: “Justin was a loving father and devoted husband, as well as a highly competitive racing driver who was respected by his peers. The family would like to thank the staff at the Lehigh Valley Health Network Cedar Crest Hospital, Pocono Raceway, Andretti Autosport, and the Verizon IndyCar Series as well as the entire racing community for the amazing outpouring of support from fans around the world.”
Wilson won seven IndyCar races during his career, which spanned 174 total races. The Sheffield, England native also competed in Formula One in 2003, and was part of the winning sportscar team at the Rolex 24 at Daytona in 2012. He was a very accomplished race car driver, but an even better human being. He was known by many in the IndyCar community as the Gentle Giant, being so much taller than the other drivers. He was incredibly kind, generous, and always willing to help in any way he could.
Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman & Co. spoke at a press conference this evening at IMS. “This is a monumentally sad day for IndyCar and the motorsports community as a whole. Justin’s elite ability to drive a race car was matched by his unwavering kindness, character and humility — which is what made him one of the most respected members of the paddock. As we know, the racing industry is one big family, and our efforts moving forward will be focused on rallying around Justin’s family to ensure they get the support they need during this unbelievably difficult time.”
The support and reflection of Justin’s life was all over Social media.
It’s always difficult to come up with the words to accurately describe how painful these times are. Friends and fans will understandably deal with the loss of such a great driver and person in their own way. It’s the families though that really need our support. The loved ones that are left behind are going through an extremely painful time. If you can, please donate to the Wilson Children’s Fund, to support Justin’s two daughters.
Again, those donations may be sent to: Wilson Children’s Fund, c/o INDYCAR, 4551 W. 16th St., Indianapolis, IN 46222.