IndyCar Driver Dan Wheldon Dies in 15-Car Pileup (Video)

Wheldon, 33, a two-time winner of the Indianapolis 500, endured fatal crash during national ABC broadcast

Last Updated: September 20, 2012 @ 3:19 PM

Dan Wheldon, a two-time winner of the Indianapolis 500, died Sunday in a massive 15-car wreck at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. He was 33.

Wheldon was one of the most famous and popular drivers in open-wheel racing, which includes the IndyCar series and Formula One (as opposed to stock car racing, which is what NASCAR is).

The race, which was nationally televised by ABC Sunday, was immediately cancelled, but the drivers later came out for an emotional five-lap tribute.

"IndyCar is very sad to announce that Dan Wheldon has passed away from unsurvivable injuries," IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard said in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with his family today. IndyCar, its drivers and owners, have decided to end the race."

Three other drivers were injured in the fiery accident, which scattered smoldering cars and other debris across the oval track.

Wheldon, who hails from Emberton, England, rose to prominence in 2005 after he won his first Indy 500 and set the record for the number of victories in an IndyCar season.

He later flirted with joining a Formula One team, but eventually decided against it.

Wheldon remained competitive but struggled to notch any victories over the past few years. That ended in 2011 when he won his second Indy 500.

Sunday’s race was only his third of the season.

Here's the video, which is not graphic but is quite jarring:

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