ABC Televises IndyCar Crash Leading to Dan Wheldon's Death (Video)
ABC on Sunday televised the 15-car pileup during an IndyCar race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway that resulted the death of two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon and several other drivers being injured.
The crash occurred only minutes into the race, according to CBS News. Wheldon, who started at the back of the 34-car field, couldn't avoid a wreck that began when two cars' tired touched. Within seconds, several cars were on fire, and debris covered a good portion of the track.
When the actual accident occurred, ABC was broadcasting from an in-car camera, but the director quickly cut to a shot high above the track that showed Wheldon's car on fire. Rescue workers were shown running to his car and signaling for more help.
The 33-year-old driver was airlifted to University Medical Center. About two hours later, IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard gave word of his death. After the announcement was made, the race was halted, and all drivers took part in a five-lap tribute to Wheldon.
"One minute you're joking around at driver intros; the next, Dan's gone," said Dario Franchitti, whose wife, Ashley Judd, brought a box of tissues. "I lost, we lost, a good friend. Everybody in the IndyCar series considered him a friend. He was such a good guy. He was a charmer."
Also injured in the crash were J.R. Hildebrand and Pippa Mann, who will remain in the hospital overnight.
"It was like a movie scene which they try to make as gnarly as possible," racecar driver Danica Patrick said. "It was debris everywhere across the whole track. You could smell the smoke. You could see the billowing smoke on the back straight from the car. There was a chunk of fire that we were driving around. You could see cars scattered."
Wheldon, who moved from England to the U.S. in 1999, won 16 IndyCar races and was the series champion in 2005. The driver, who had been blogging for USA Today before Sunday's race, He stood to take home $5 million if he won Sunday's race.
An autopsy is planned for Monday.