Current Indianapolis 500 winner and former Indy-car title champion Dan Wheldon died in a horrific 15 car pile-up at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Oct. 15. Wheldon was just 33, leaving behind a wife and two young kids.
Wheldon started in last place, and was not in contention for the championship, but he was racing for a $5 million bonus for winning the race. The crash started when two cars touched wheels, spinning one out and launching a third car into the air. Wheldon came after this initial crash, when he hit another car and was vaulted into the air, spinning several times before hitting the catch fence, cockpit first. His car then burst into flames as it skidded across the track. He was airlifted out of the track to the University Medical Hospital and was declared dead five hours later due to blunt trauma injuries, according to espn.com.
This is the first Indy-car racing death since 2006 and the fourth in Indy-car racing. At speeds of up to 225mph and an open cockpit, it’s a miracle that there aren’t more tragedies like this.
What do you think: should Indy-car racing implement new safety rules, or is danger just part of the sport?