British IndyCar driver Justin Wilson has died from severe head injuries after he was hit by debris from a car crash in front of him at the closing laps of the penultimate race in the IndyCar Series at the Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania on 23 August.
In a statement issued by his family, they said "with deep sadness", they share the news that Justin passed away today (24 August) after "succumbing to injuries" suffered during the race.
"Justin was a loving father and devoted husband, as well as a highly competitive racing driver who was respected by his peers."
The family has requested that donations, in lieu of flowers, be made to the Wilson Children's Fund via Indycar. An online donation option is being set up, the statement added..
Justin leaves behind wife, Julia and two daughters, his parents, Keith and Lynne and younger brother Stefan, also a race car driver.
Wilson was in a coma at the intensive care unit at Lehigh Valley Health Network Cedar Crest Hospital in Allentown. The 37-year old from Sheffield and seven-times winner in IndyCar racing, entered Formula One in 2003 with the Minardi team and later drove for Jaguar. Wilson's car apparently went out of control after being hit by the debris and veered into the wall.
Tributes pour in
Skynews said a statement issued by staff at Indycar.com said they would focus on providing support to Wilson's family.
"This is a monumentally sad day for IndyCar and the motorsports community as a while," said Mark Miles, the boss of IndyCar's parent company.
"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," Miles said.
Following the incident, Wilson's Andretti Autosport team mate Ryan Hunter-Reay, went on to win the race. Soon after the accident, Hunter-Reay told reporters: "He's one of my good friends, we're close with his family, he has two little daughters at home so I', really thinking about the family, you know it hits close to home, he's a teammate, great friend and can't say enough about the guy."