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Day after car crash, British IndyCar driver Justin Wilson dies in hospital

Philadelphia: British driver Justin Wilson has died after suffering a serious head injury during a Pocono IndyCar 500 race.

The ex-Formula 1 driver, who drives for the Andretti Autosport team, was hit by debris after a car crashed in front of him and he then hit a wall on Sunday.

Justin Wilson
Justin Wilson in 2005. Pic/ AFP

Wilson appeared to have been struck on the head by a piece of debris from American driver Sage Karam's car after it spun and crashed in front of him on lap 179 of the 200-lap race. Karam was able to get out of his car and was treated for a foot injury.

The 37-year-old was airlifted to hospital from the Pocono Raceway. He breathed his last on Monday.

"This is a monumentally sad day for IndyCar and the motorsports community as a whole," said Mark Miles, CEO of IndyCar parent company Hulman & Co, in a statement on Monday.

"Justin's elite ability to drive a race car was matched by his unwavering kindness, character and humility -- which is what made him one of the most respected members of the paddock.

As we know, the racing industry is one big family, and our efforts moving forward will be focused on rallying around Justin's family to ensure they get the support they need during this unbelievably difficult time."

Wilson is survived by his wife, Julia, and two daughters. He hailed from Sheffield and competed for Minardi and Jaguar during the 2003 Formula 1 season.

He has driven in major US open-wheel racing since the 2004 season and was making his 174th IndyCar start in Sunday's race.

Wilson has recorded seven wins in Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) and IndyCar races, his most recent coming at Texas in 2012.

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