Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon died on Sunday after a 15-car accident at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday. Wheldon, 33, was taken by helicopter to the University Medical Center in Las Vegas where he was pronounced dead at 1:54 p.m.
Autopsy results were released today, along with the official cause of death for Wheldon. Clark County Coroner Michael Murphy ruled the death an accident, "the result of blunt trauma to the head due to a motor vehicle collision," and offered condolences to friends and family of the married father of two from England.
Prior to the accident, Wheldon's car had been placed in the back of the 34 car line-up in an attempt to win a $5 million bonus from IndyCar officials.
The crash took place in front of Wheldon, but his efforts to avoid the pile-up were unsuccessful. His car catapulted up into the air and crashed into the catch fence and wall.
Other drivers suffered mild injuries during the crash, including Pippa Mann who burned her ring pinkie finger and JR Hildebrand who bruised his sternum.
"We're all very sad. He was a friend of all of ours," said a tearful Danica Patrick. "He'll be missed. I just feel for his family."
Ashley Judd's husband and IndyCar racer Dario Franchitti echoed Patrick's sentiments. "One minute you're joking around at driver intros. The next, Dan's gone. 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," he said.
"We'll be working with family and IndyCar officials and the attending physicians to fully review the case in an effort to improve safety for drivers," said County Coroner Murphy.