Dan Wheldon's Death Inspires Several Facebook Pages in His Memory

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Dan Wheldon at the Indianapolis 500 in May

Thousands of people hit the social networking site to pay their respects.

Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon died Sunday after being involved in a 15-car pileup during a race at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

The crash, televised on ABC, occurred only minutes into the race. 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.

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The 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.

Meanwhile, fans hit Twitter and Facebook to pay their own respects to the driver. On Twitter, "Dan Wheldon" became a trending topic, while at least sever Facebook pages dedicated to his memory were up as of late Sunday night.

Five of the pages are titled "RIP Dan Wheldon"; the other two are named "Dan Wheldon Forever" and "The Indycar crash at Las Vegas 16/10/2011 R.I.P. Dan Wheldon."

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Combined, the pages have nearly 25,000 "likes." The page with the most "likes" has nearly 7,000 members at the time of this posting.

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.