Story by: Connor Curts, staff writer
On August 23, 2015, the racing world lost yet another driver in a deadly crash. With only one race left in IndyCar season, driver Justin Wilson, driving car number 25 was involved in a crash during the ABC Supply 500 at the Pocono Raceway.
IndyCars are designed to reach speeds of close to 230 MPH, and because of the aerodynamics used, the driver is not covered with any type of protection aside from their helmet. Because drivers are exposed to the outside world, Wilson was hit in the head with a piece of debris from the race leader’s car, leaving him unconscious.
He was immediately taken to a hospital, where it was announced by doctors that Wilson had slipped into a coma. The next day at approximately 9pm, an IndyCar spokesperson held a press conference to announce that Wilson had died. He was 37 years old.
“I think IndyCar definitely needs to make some improvements to the safety of their cars. The current model is getting people killed, and it needs to be fixed,” said Brendan Pratt, 11.
This marked IndyCar’s first on track death since Dan Wheldon was killed back in October of 2011. Wheldon had won the Indy 500 race earlier that year, a race that Hoosiers know well and has been nicknamed “the greatest spectacle in racing.” He was 33 years old.
Both Wheldon and Wilson died from a head injuries that occurred due to their bodies being exposed while inside their cars. It now raises an important question, one that’s been overlooked often over recent years: Does the IndyCar need to be redesigned, with an emphasis on safety?