Justin Wilson joins a group of esteemed and talented drivers who have died pushing the limits of speed. And his death will spark the safety debate in motor sports once again.

Wilson, 37, died Monday, a day after he was struck in the head by a piece of debris during the Verizon IndyCar Series race at Pocono Raceway, according to IndyCar.

Wilson was hit by debris from the car of rookie Sage Karam, who was leading the ABC Supply 500 when his No. 8 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet spun on its own in Turn 1 on Lap 179 of the 200-lap race Sunday.

Among the more notable names are Formula 1 driver Jules Bianchi, who died July 17, nine months after he crashed into a safety vehicle operating under wet track conditions in the Japanese Grand Prix on Oct. 5, 2014. Bianchi, considered a rising star on the circuit, suffered a diffuse axonal injury and was placed in an induced coma for surgery. He never regained consciousness. He was 25.

The IndyCar community was rocked in 2011 when two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon died of blunt force trauma when his head struck a post in a catchfence during an IndyCar race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s 1.5-mile oval. The 2005 IndyCar champion, 33, was beloved on the series.

Seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Dale Earnhardt Sr. died Feb. 18, 2001, of a basilar skull fracture when his car slammed into the Turn 4 wall at Daytona International Speedway on the final lap of the Daytona 500. Earnhardt earned the nickname “Intimidator” for his racing style and his fan base remains strong today, more than 14 years after his death at 49.



Hulman & Co. CEO Mark Miles announces the death of IndyCar driver Justin Wilson. (Provided by IndyCar)