Justin Wilson has passed away following severe head injuries suffered in a crash during Sunday’s ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway.
Wilson, 37, was struck in the head by a large piece of debris after Sage Karam crashed heavily from the lead, and was in a coma at Lehigh Valley Health Network Cedar Crest Hospital in Allentown, Pa.
Verizon IndyCar Series CEO, Mark Miles called Wilson “one of the most respected members of the paddock.”
“This is a monumentally sad day for INDYCAR and the motorsports community as a whole,” said Miles. “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.”
Ed Carpenter took part in the press conference on behalf of the drivers.
“Days like this are extremely hard on all of us,” Carpenter said.
The family of Wilson 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 is survived by wife Julia, two daughters and brother and fellow driver Stefan.
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.
Many drivers from many different types of racing series took to Twitter to express their profound sadness on the loss of a competitor and friend.
Why do we do this? Because we love it, don't want to be anywhere else but a race car. We will keep your legacy my friend. Racers race.
— Tony Kanaan (@TonyKanaan) August 25, 2015
So sad to hear that we lost Justin Wilson today. Thoughts & prayers to his family and friends.
— Jeff Gordon (@JeffGordonWeb) August 25, 2015
All my thoughts and prayers are with Justin's family, his wife and kids, his brother and parents
— Oswaldo Negri Jr (@OzzNegri) August 25, 2015
Just so so sad, we chase so hard for what we love but some days it's so cruel…racing lost a great one today RIP JW God bless your family
— Calvin Fish (@calvinfish) August 25, 2015
Father, Husband, Friend, just an amazing human being. We will miss you to no end. Love to the Wilson Family. #RIPJustin
— Scott Dixon (@scottdixon9) August 25, 2015
So distraught to hear the news of Justin's passing. He was such a fantastic human being & will be dearly missed.
— Will Power (@12WillPower) August 25, 2015
— AJ Allmendinger (@AJDinger) August 25, 2015
Heartbroken. We lost an exceptional human being, a badass driver. A guy everyone loved and could look up to. So cruel. Rest in Peace Justin.
— Tristan Vautier (@TristanVautier) August 25, 2015