IndyCar driver Justin Wilson succumbed to a head injury sustained in a wreck Sunday at Pocono Raceway, the Associated Press reports. Wilson was 37.

During yesterday’s ABC Supply 500, Sage Karam crashed while in the lead, littering the track with debris. Wilson attempted to avoid James Jakes’ slowing car through the debris field when he was struck in the head by the nose cone that had come loose from Sage Karam’s car. Wilson was taken via helicopter to an area hospital with severe head injuries.

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IndyCar made an announcement this evening at about 9:10 p.m. EDT at the request of Justin Wilson’s family. Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman & Company, the parent company of IndyCar, said he will remember Wilson as “one of the most well respected, highly regarded, and loved people in the entire paddock.”

Driver and team owner Ed Carpenter also paid his respects during the announcement, describing Wilson as “a great professional driver and extremely good at his craft” and “a friend among everyone in the paddock.”

Wilson died at Lehigh Valley Health Network Cedar Crest Hospital in the company of his family. Following IndyCar’s announcement, the family released this statement:

With deep sadness, the parents of Justin Wilson, Keith and Lynne, his wife Julia, and his brother Stefan share the news that Justin passed away today after succumbing to injuries suffered during the Verizon IndyCar event at Pocono Raceway on Sunday, August 23.

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.

The family has requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Wilson Children’s Fund care of INDYCAR.

Wilson Children’s Fund

C/O INDYCAR

4551 West 16th Street

Indianapolis, IN 46222

Wilson was a native of Sheffield, England, who had moved to Colorado with his wife Julia and two young daughters, Jane and Jessica.

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He was a prominent open-wheel racer for many years, competing for Minardi and Jaguar in Formula One. He moved into American open wheel series in 2004 with ChampCar and later IndyCar in 2008. Wilson had competed in six IndyCar races with Andretti Autosport this year.

This is the second time in four years that IndyCar has lost one of its most popular drivers due to an on-track incident. Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon passed away due to severe head injuries sustained in a crash in 2011.

Photo credit: AP Images


Contact the author at stef.schrader@jalopnik.com.