Dan Wheldon, the IndyCar racer who died of head injuries on Oct. 16 from a 15-car pile-up at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway was honored on Saturday, at a funeral that was held in his adopted hometown of St Petersburg, Fla.
Hundreds of people gathered to attend the funeral of the 33-year-old, which took place at 10 a.m. at the First Presbyterian Church. The funeral will be followed by a public memorial, to be held at 4 p.m. on Sunday, at the Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
“Though we won't be able to fit everyone inside, I know that Dan would have wanted the community to share in the celebration of his life and to grieve his passing, Susie Wheldon, Dan’s wife, said in a statement.
The Buckinghamshire-born, two-time Indy 500 race winner died when his car slammed into another and catapulted him into a catch fence, cockpit-first, where it burst into flames. He was airlifted to the University Medical Center in Las Vegas and was declared dead at 1:54 p.m.
The race was called off due to Wheldon's death. However, the drivers remained on track and drove a five-lap salute in his honor. The three other drivers who were injured in the crash were released from the hospital.
Wheldon leaves behind his wife and two sons - Sebastian, 2, and Oliver, 7 months.