IndyCar Driver Justin Wilson Dies, Donates Organs


IndyCar Driver Justin Wilson Dies, Donates Organs

By Burt Carey


British IndyCar driver Justin Wilson was one of the circuit’s most popular drivers. He died Monday following a horrific accident at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa., on Sunday. But through his generosity, six people will benefit because of the racer’s organ donations.

Justin Wilson, IndyCar driver, Pocono Raceway, Long Pond, #giftoflife, #myherojw“With #giftoflife @justin_wilson saved 6 lives today,” his brother, Stefan Wilson, posted on Twitter. “He just keeps setting the bar higher. Keep Julia & the girls in your prayers #myherojw”

Wilson, 37, left behind his wife Julia and two daughters, ages 7 and 5. The British Formula One driver had been living in Colorado.

“It makes you feel even prouder to be his brother and just sort of exemplifies the life that he led. … Always giving and thinking of other people,” Stefan Wilson told ABC News. “It is just another case of that.”

Wilson died from a head injury suffered Sunday when debris from Sage Karam’s car struck his helmet when he was driving an estimated 200 miles per hour. His car careened into an interior wall at the track, and he was taken by helicopter to a hospital in Allentown where he was in critical condition.

“To say that we are heartbroken over the loss of Justin Wilson would create the false impression that our pain is localized,” said Art St. Cyr, president of Honda Performance Development. “At a time earlier in the season, when we were in a continuing struggle to remain competitive in the Verizon IndyCar Series, Justin was the guy who WANTED to be with Honda, and he demonstrated that time and again. That allows you to take the measure of the man, and we will be forever grateful for his loyalty, and the gracious and gentlemanly way he represented our company, on and off the race track.”

“It sums up who he was; he’s touching people he doesn’t even know, and it shows what kind of person Justin Wilson was,” said Stefan, who was with his brother when he died. “We lost him yesterday, and it’s one of those tough questions that come up afterwards. He carried a donor card, they asked us, and we clarified that he wanted to donate. It’s a tough thing to consider; you want him to be whole, but it’s something he’d discussed with Julia and we honored what he wanted and went ahead with it.”

Wilson had seven career Indy car wins, and he also competed in endurance races. He co-drove the winning car in the 24 Hours of Daytona in 2012, and he drove for the Andretti Autosport team for several races this season.

“Losing his life in an incident that was beyond his control is difficult to accept,” said Road Racing Club President Bobby Rahal. “His expert driving skills and keen awareness of all that was going on around him could not save him. We mourn his passing and will honor his memory as a championship-caliber driver who left us way too soon.”

Justin Wilson, IndyCar driver, Pocono Raceway, Long Pond, #giftoflife, #myherojw

Justin Wilson practicing for the 2008 Indianapolis 500

Source:  Sportsmans Lifestyle