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OCTOBER 16, 2011

Dan Wheldon killed in huge crash at Indycar finale

Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon was killed today in a massive 15 car accident in today's Las Vegas Indy 300.

33-year-old Wheldon was making his way through the field after starting last, part of a $5 million publicity stunt, where if he were to win the race he would have won a $2.5m bonus, the other $2.5m would have gone to a fan.

Wheldon was one of the last cars to be collected in the accident, where his car launched into the air from the bottom of the banking and tumbled into the catchment fencing above the outside barriers.

Wheldon was airlifted to University Medical Center in Las Vegas, and later Indycar announced that he had succumbed to his injuries. The race was red flagged after the crash, and after the announcement was made the race was cancelled, but the drivers took to the track and made a five-lap demonstration run in tribute of Wheldon.

Indycar's Randy Bernard made the announcement, "IndyCar is very sad to announce Dan Wheldon passed away from unsurvivable injuries. Our thoughts and prayers are with Dan and his family. IndyCar, its drivers and teams 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."

The British driver won the Indianapolis 500 two time, in 2005 and again this year, and won the Indycar Championship in 2005. Wheldon is survived by his wife and two small children.