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 Bad Premonitions Before, and Ominous Signs After, Dan Wheldon’s Crash in Las Vegas

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Join date : 2010-11-30

PostSubject: Bad Premonitions Before, and Ominous Signs After, Dan Wheldon’s Crash in Las Vegas   Tue Oct 18, 2011 9:19 am

The IndyCar racing community, its fans and even drivers themselves seemed almost braced for tragedy Sunday, as the season finale unfolded here. When it came, in the form of a 15-car pileup that killed the two-time Indianapolis 500 champion Dan Wheldon, there seemed to be little shock, just sadness that the worst-case scenario had indeed occurred.

“I spent time with Dan in his motor home prior to the race,” said the driver Adrian Fernandez on Monday in a brief telephone interview. “And with many of the other drivers during the prerace ceremonies, you could feel the fear.”

A commenter on a post-race report by The Las Vegas Review-Journal wrote, “Unfortunately carnage was expected today. There were more cars allowed on the track than what is safe. It’s unfortunate, but the ingredients for disaster were clearly there. Was the bagpiper on standby for tragedy?”

Indeed, a bagpiper played “Amazing Grace” at trackside as the remaining vehicles in discount jerseysthe event circled the 1.5-mile circuit five times to honor Wheldon, some two hours after the crash.

IndyCar racers were able to average over 220 miles per hour on the track, and the combination of high speed and close quarters led some to criticize both the track owners and series officials for not imposing countermeasures to increase driver safety.

“We all had a bad feeling about this place in particular just because of the high banking and how easymlb jerseys cheap it was to go flat,” said Oriol Servia, the Newman/Haas driver, in a statement. “We knew it could happen, but it’s just really sad.”

When the news of Wheldon’s death was finally announced, there was no gasp from the crowd. Though he was officially pronounced dead at a hospital, to which he had been airlifted, there were clues even moments after the accident that it had tragic consequences.

ESPN, which had contracted Wheldon to be its in-race reporter, did not broadcast replays of in-car video or audio excerpts from his car after the crash. Wheldon could be heard before the start talking to the announcers in the booth, as his car circulated around Las Vegas Motor Speedway’nhl jerseys cheaps fast, high-banked layout.

The rescue workers who removed Wheldon from his car did not seem to have him hooked up to a respirator or any other form of life support as they wheeled him from the wreckage to the ambulance. Wheldon had a white towel over the top of his head, and his chin and jaw were visible. He did not appear conscious.

IndyCar officials later described his injuries as “unsurvivable.”

His car was immediately covered by a yellow tarp, another customary move in fatalnfl jerseys from china accidents. The car’s shrouded remains were loaded on a flatbed truck and escorted immediately off the speedway grounds by two support vehicles.

Within 20 minutes, the medical evacuation helicopter started up, and a stretcher carrying Wheldon, who again was not attached to any apparent form of life support, was wheeled to its side, taken onboard and whisked away.
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Rescue workers at the track were crying. Fans were quiet and respectful during the long delay. The track announcer’s infrequent updates were made in a grim tone. Heads nodded when he said, “Our prayers are with Dan and his family.”

More heads nodded quietly when the official announcement finally came.
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Bad Premonitions Before, and Ominous Signs After, Dan Wheldon’s Crash in Las Vegas
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