The Verizon IndyCar Series has released the first medical update on driver Justin Wilson, who was struck in the head by a piece of flying debris late in Sunday’s ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway. Wilson was injured while driving past a crashing Sage Karam, had to be airlifted from the Pennsylvania track to a local hospital, and is currently in a coma and listed in critical condition.
Here’s the text of the league’s medical update in full:
Verizon IndyCar Series driver Justin Wilson sustained a severe head injury during today’s event at Pocono Raceway. Wilson is currently in a coma and in critical condition while undergoing further evaluation at Lehigh Valley Health Network Cedar Crest Hospital in Allentown, Pa.
IndyCar sends its thoughts and prayers to Justin, his family and Andretti Autosport during this difficult time.
Karam crashed by himself late in Sunday’s race, but a tremendous amount of debris came off his No. 8 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet, including the nose cone that hit Wilson in the passing No. 25 Andretti Autosport Honda.
The British racer is the second IndyCar driver to suffer a life-threatening injury during the 2015 season, following James Hinchcliffe’s crash at the Indianapolis 500 that saw a piece of his No. 5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda go through his leg. Hinchcliffe has been out for the remainder of the season, but has had two successful surgeries and is optimistic about returning in 2016.
Wilson’s incident was the last of a wreck-filled Pocono event. It came the day after Charlie Kimball went into a catch fence during qualifying, and during the race several other drivers were involved in crashes, including Kimball, Graham Rahal, Helio Castroneves, Tony Kanaan, Sebastian Bourdais, Jack Hawksworth, and Tristan Vautier.
Wilson’s teammate Marco Andretti suffered a minor bump to his right knee after being involved in a single-car incident of his own earlier Sunday, while Karam was also taken to the hospital via ground to have a foot injury evaluated.
Several drivers expressed their best wishes for Wilson following the end of the race.
“Obviously, first and foremost, we’re thinking about Justin Wilson,” said teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay, the eventual winner. “With heads exposed and when you get flying debris, it’s a bad luck deal. Our thoughts are with him. I know him and his family well, they’re great friends of ours. Really, really just thinking about Justin right now.”
“There were a lot of wrecks today and in IndyCar we are a family,” added rookie Gabby Chaves. “It’s always hard to see your competitors and your friends get hurt, so my prayers along with everyone else’s prayers here are with Justin Wilson and his family.”
IndyCar Examiner will give additional updates on Wilson’s condition as they become available.
For more on the Verizon IndyCar Series, visit the league’s website.