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IndyCar driver Justin Wilson dies after crash

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Posted at 9:58 PM, Aug 24, 2015
and last updated 2015-08-25 08:49:37-04

(CNN) — IndyCar driver Justin Wilson died Monday from injuries he suffered when struck by a part careening off a crashed race car.

The nose cone of driver Sage Karam’s car flew off after he crashed Sunday at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania, and struck Wilson in the head. Wilson’s No. 25 Andretti Autosport Honda then hit a wall before coming to rest on the track.

“Justin’s elite ability to drive a race car was matched by his unwavering kindness, character and humility, which is what made him one of the most respected members of the paddock,” said Mark Miles, CEO of the parent company of IndyCar. “He will be missed.”

Unlike NASCAR vehicles, IndyCar vehicles have an open cockpit, leaving racers more exposed.

The accident happened with 21 laps left in the ABC Supply 500.

Wilson, 37, was flown to Lehigh Valley Health Network-Cedar Crest Hospital in Allentown, Pennsylvania, according to IndyCar.

Karam was also taken to the hospital for evaluation of a foot injury. It was unclear if he was admitted.

Karam tweeted late Monday that he couldn’t find the right words.

Driver Ryan Hunter-Reay, who won the race, said the accident looked terrifying.

“Just to be an innocent bystander like that and get hit in the head with a nose cone is a scary thought,” Hunter-Reay said.

“He has a family, just like I do. He’s a great friend, a teammate. Can’t say enough about the guy on and off the racetrack.”

Wilson is survived by his wife, Julia, and two daught