Stefan Wilson and Katherine Legge were involved in a hard crash during Indy 500 practice on Monday and the latter suffered a serious injury when his car hit the wall at high speed.
The two were going through Turns 1 and 2 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway as the entire field appeared to slow down. Legge closed on Wilson quickly and hit the rear of his car. The two skidded into the wall with Legge hitting Wilson in the rear and the Wilson going nearly head-on into the barrier.
Wilson was immobilized and wearing a neck brace before he was taken away. Legge climbed from her car on her own.
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“I can tell you that he’s doing well,” IndyCar and Indianapolis Motor Speedway chief medical director Dr. Julia Vaizer said, adding, “He’s in good spirits.”
The Dreyer and Reinbold Racing team later announced that Wilson suffered a fractured vertebrae in the crash.
“After being transported to IU Health Methodist Hospital for further tests, it was disclosed that Wilson suffered a fracture of the 12th thoracic vertebrae and will stay overnight for further tests and observation. Based on this type of injury, Wilson will not be allowed to compete in this Sunday’s 10th Indianapolis 500 Mile Race,” the team said. “The Dreyer and Reinbold Racing/Cusick Motorsports team will have more information in due course.”
Legge’s team said it would attempt to repair her car in time for Carb Day on Friday, when teams get one last chance on the track before the race. She’s the only female driver in this year’s field.
“I know it’s another blow to the team. After yesterday, those guys don’t deserve it. It’s not right,” she said, referencing the team’s tough qualifying.
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Wilson’s brother, Justin Wilson, was the last IndyCar driver killed on the track. He was competing in a 2015 race at Pocono when Sage Karam crashed ahead of him, and a piece of the car struck Wilson’s helmet and sent him in the wall.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.