Wheldon died of blunt head trauma

Will Power's car hits the wall as Dan Wheldon's car (left) bursts into flames during the IZOD...

Will Power's car hits the wall as Dan Wheldon's car (left) bursts into flames during the IZOD IndyCar World Championship race at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, Nev., Oct. 16, 2011. (BARRY AMBROSE/Reuters)

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, Last Updated: 12:51 AM ET

LAS VEGAS - IndyCar driver Dan Wheldon died of blunt head trauma sustained in Sunday's fiery 15-car crash at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the Clark County Coroner's office said.

Results of an autopsy performed on the two-time Indianapolis 500 winner and former series champion were released Monday.

The corner's office ruled Wheldon's death accidental and said the driver was pronounced dead at 1:54 p.m.

Wheldon was killed after his car became airborne, hit the outside wall and burst into flames early on in the scheduled 300-mile race. He was airlifted to University Medical Center in Las Vegas, but died of his injuries.

The wreck, which sent several other drivers to the hospital, left broken cars and pieces of flaming metal scattered about the track in a scene that one driver likened to a war movie.

After learning that Wheldon had died, officials canceled the race and drivers made a five-lap tribute around the 1.5-mile track.

Wheldon, who was 33, had started from the rear of the field as the only driver eligible to split a $5 million bonus with a lucky fan if he could have won the race.

The coroner's office said in a news release that it would work closely with race officials, safety equipment personnel and the physicians who attended to Wheldon to fully review the case in an effort to help increase safety for other drivers.

Wheldon is survived by his wife, Susie, and two young sons, Sebastian and Oliver.


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