IndyCar driver Justin Wilson lost his life on the track. He subsequently saved six lives through organ donation.
— Stefan Wilson (@stef_wilson) August 25, 2015
Wilson died earlier this week after taking a blow to his helmeted head from debris at the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania. The flying debris came off a competing car in the aftermath of a crash.
IndyCar last lost a driver in 2011 when Dan Wheldon, two-time Indianapolis 500-winner, died in Las Vegas in a 15-car accident that witnessed his car fly the length of a football field into a fence.
Wilson’s death has reignited a debate on whether IndyCar should take steps to further shield the heads of drivers. Unlike NASCAR, IndyCar racers drive with their helmeted heads in the open air. Enthusiasts say this aspect of IndyCar racing separates it from other motor sports and plays as an integral part of the sport’s traditions.
Safety proponents hope the death saves lives beyond the ones given a second chance through organ donation. They seek to use the Brit’s death to catalyze calls for roof coverings or cages to better protect drivers from debris and crashes.