IndyCar driver Justin Wilson in coma after wreck at Pocono

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LONG POND, Pa. (AP) _ IndyCar driver Justin Wilson is in a coma and in critical condition after sustaining a head injury when he was hit by a large piece of debris that broke off a car in the crash-filled race at Pocono Raceway.

The debris broke off Sage Karam’s car when Karam spun into the wall Sunday. Wilson’s car veered left and directly into an interior wall. Wilson was swarmed by the safety crew and airlifted by helicopter.

The accident was a grim reminder of the dangers of open-wheel racing. Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon died in 2011 after his car became ensnared in a fiery 15-car pileup, flew over another vehicle and landed in a catch at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Wheldon’s head hit a post in the fence, and he died instantly.

Ryan Hunter-Reay, Wilson’s Andretti Autosport teammate, won the race.

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