IndyCar driver from Northamptonshire died after ‘freak accident’, his father tells inquest

Justin Wilson's funeral last September

Justin Wilson's funeral last September

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A Northampton IndyCar driver who was fatally injured during a race in the United States died after a “freak accident”, his father said.

Father-of-two Justin Wilson, 37, was struck by a piece of debris from another car while racing at Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania in August 2015.

Sage Karam, who was leading, had crashed his car into a barrier, throwing up debris on to the track.

As a result, Mr Wilson, who had made his home in Northampton at the age of 20, was struck on the helmet by a component of Karam’s car.

He was taken to a nearby hospital but died of his injuries the next day.

Today, an inquest was held at Northampton General Hospital, as Paulerspury was his final resting place.

The county coroner Anne Pember read a statement from Mr Wilson’s father, Keith.

It said the incident was “a freak accident” and continued: “Debris from [Karam’s] car flew high into the air and a large, heavy piece hit Justin in the head as he approached the scene of the accident.”

Mr Wilson was extricated from the car and taken to a nearby hospital.

His father’s statement continued: “He was kept on life support until my wife and I arrived. The decision was then taken to switch off the machine and Justin was pronounced deceased.

“Justin was a kind and caring and loving son who is sadly missed by all of his family and friends.”

Mrs Pember recorded a verdict of accidental death.

Keith Wilson said his son had dyslexia and did not enjoy school, where he did not do well, picking up two GCSEs.

But he excelled in other areas of his life.

A “happy and outgoing” Justin became a go kart racer after leaving school and became a professional racing driver aged 18.

Mr Wilson was an experienced motor racing driver who had competed in Formula 1 for the Minardi and Jaguar teams

But, seeking career as an IndyCar star, he rented out his apartment in Northampton and moved to America in his early twenties.

There he met wife Julia and they had two daughters together.