South Yorkshire racing driver saves six lives following his death

Justin Wilson. Picture: Press Association
Justin Wilson. Picture: Press Association

A South Yorkshire racing driver helped save six lives after he donated his organs following his death, it has been claimed.

Justin Wilson, from Woodall, near Rotherham, died after he was struck on the crash helmet by debris at an IndyCar race in Pennsylvania on Sunday.

The 37-year-old was airlifted to a nearby hospital after he was rendered unconscious following the incident at the Pocono Raceway.

But the former Formula One driver racer succumbed to his injuries with his wife Julia at his bedside on Monday night.

Stefan Wilson, also a professional racing driver, said his elder brother's organs would be donated in the wake of his death. And on Tuesday he claimed six people benefited from his selfless actions.

Stefan Wilson wrote on his Twitter account: "With #giftoflife @justin_wilson saved 6 lives today. He just keeps setting the bar higher. Keep Julia & the girls in your prayers #myherojw."

Justin was a popular driver in a professional career which spanned more than a decade. He competed in the 2003 Formula One season, racing for Minardi and Jaguar, before he moved to America and started 174 IndyCar races.

Red Bull Racing, the team to emerge from the ashes of Jaguar, flew their flags at half-mast at their Milton Keynes headquarters in tribute to him.

And Lewis Hamilton, the Formula One world champion who won in Belgium on Sunday, led the tributes to his compatriot.

"I woke up this morning feeling positive in my heart until I read the news," said Hamilton.

"I am so devastated to hear of another passing of a great man and driver. I'd met Justin Wilson a few times growing up and he was the ultimate gentleman.

"Whilst I only knew him a little, I will miss him. We will miss him. May God rest his soul and keep his hands over his family."

The tragedy comes less than four years after the last fatality in IndyCar. Briton's Dan Wheldon died after a devastating 15-car pile-up at the Las Vegas Speedway in October, 2011.

His sister Holly posted a picture of her brother and Wilson on Tuesday.

''May these two gorgeous British boys rest in peace together. #BadassWilson #Lionheart,'' she wrote.

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