Northampton

IndyCar driver Justin Wilson's death a 'freak accident'

Indycar driver Justin Wilson Image copyright Getty Images

The father of a British IndyCar driver who was fatally injured during a race in the US has described it as a "freak accident".

Justin Wilson, 37, was struck by a piece of flying debris in the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania in August.

An inquest in Northampton heard race leader Sage Karam hit a barrier at 200mph, scattering debris on the track.

Father-of-two Wilson was hit on the helmet and died the next day.

Coroner Anne Pember read a statement from Wilson's father, Keith, who described the event in lap 179 of 200 as a "freak accident".

It said: "[Karam] was unhurt but debris from his car flew high into the air and a large, heavy piece hit Justin on the head as he approached the scene of the accident.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Justin Wilson at the Milwaukee Mile in July

"Justin was unconscious, he was extracted from the car and rushed to hospital. He underwent surgery and was kept on a life support machine until the following day.

"The decision was then taken to switch off the machine. Justin was a kind, caring and loving son who is sadly missed by all of his family and friends."

Mrs Pember concluded that Wilson's death was accidental.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption IndyCar drivers paid tribute to Wilson on 28 August as they crossed the Golden Gate Bridge in California

Sheffield-born Wilson, who lived in Northampton and Colorado, formerly raced in Formula 1 for the Minardi and Jaguar teams and was competing for Andretti Autosport at the time of his death.

He enjoyed greater success in Champ Car, finishing as series runner-up in 2006 and 2007 before switching to IndyCar racing in 2008, after Champ Car merged with the Indy Racing League.

He finished second in the previous IndyCar race in Mid-Ohio on 2 August, his first podium finish since 2013, while his final victory came at the Firestone 550 at Texas Motor Speedway in June 2012.

About 500 people attended Wilson's funeral at Paulerspury in Northamptonshire in September.

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