Dan Wheldon's Indycar Crash: What Exactly Happened? [VIDEO]

 @ibtimes
on October 17 2011 8:56 AM

Dan Wheldon died on Sunday after a fiery IndyCar crash at the Las Vegas Indy 300.

Wheldon, the two-time Indianapolis 500 winner, was driving at over 220 miles per hour as his vehicle was trapped in a fiery 15-car pileup in the 12th lap.

The accident started when Wade Cunningham's car swerved on the track and Hildebrand drove over the left rear of Cunningham's car, according to CBS News. A chain reaction of spinning followed, and Wheldon drove right into the chaos. Unable to steer out of the wreck, Wheldon's car up over Paul Tracy's vehicle, slammed into the fence and flipped over and eventually, burst into flames.

It looks to me as though he just couldn't stop, Jon Wertheim, senior writer for Sports Illustrated told CNN. Look how close the cars are bunched together -- 220 miles an hour, inches separating them.

Video of the deadly crash that cost Dan Wheldon's life:

After the crash, Wheldon was airlifted from the track to University Medical Center and his colleagues learned of his death two hours later.

Wheldon, 33, died from unsurvivable injuries, according to IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard, in an official announcement of Wheldon's death.

Our thoughts and prayers are with his family today. IndyCar, its drivers and owners, have decided to end the race. In honor of Dan Wheldon, the drivers have decided to do a five-lap salute to in his honor.

This was the first fatal crash in IndyCar since Paul Dana's death at Homestead in 2006.

We all had a bad feeling about this place in particular just because of the high banking and how easy it was to go flat. And if you give us the opportunity, we are drivers and we try to go to the front. We race each other hard because that's what we do, driver Oriol Servia told ESPN.

We knew if could happen, but it's just really sad.

One minute you're joking around at driver intros. The next, Dan's gone, driver Dario Franchitti said as he wept.

I lost, we lost, a good friend. Everybody in the IndyCar series considered him a friend. He was such a good guy. He was a charmer.

The 33-year-old racer was married to Susie and had two children, Sebastian and Oliver.

His autopsy is planned for Monday.

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