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Dan Wheldon Crash: Twitter Reacts to IndyCar Star's Shocking Death

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistOctober 17, 2011

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MAY 29:  Dan Wheldon of England, driver of the #98 William Rast-Curb/Big Machine Dallara Honda, celebrates in victory lane after winning the IZOD IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500 Mile Race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 29, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

Dan Wheldon, a 33-year-old IndyCar driver from England, died following a crash in Sunday's IZOD IndyCar World Championships (via ESPN). Wheldon was a two-time Indianapolis 500 winner, including this season's running of the marquee race.

The Twitter world reacted with sorrow after learning the father of two had passed away.

Patrick is referring to Wheldon's wife Susie and his two sons, Sebastian and Oliver. While it's said often during saddening times like this, we never truly know how much longer we'll have to enjoy our loved ones. It will be tough for his family for quite some time, so hopefully they receive enough well wishes to help them through this incredibly difficult time.

Rahal does his best to put things into perspective. Drivers are a close bunch because only they understand what it's like to do what they do. And each and every one of them will be reflecting on today, knowing that could have just as easily been them. They will all be thinking of Dan for a long, long time.

It wasn't only members of the IndyCar community that offered up their condolences. LeBron James also passed along a message to illustrate the tragedy is being felt throughout the sports world.

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New York Yankees pitcher Joba Chamberlain passes along some words of wisdom that are too often forgotten. Sometimes we get caught up in the minor parts of life and forget about the big picture.

Rapper Lupe Fiasco shows that the sadness extends beyond the sports community. In the world of social media, terrible news spreads quickly as was the case with Wheldon and people from around the globe has voiced their support for his young family.

A stirring tribute from Tommy Kendall, who has spent his fair share of time in race cars. Wheldon was one of the sport's brightest stars and had touched a lot of people on his way to the top. Now all of those people are paying their respects.

Marty Reid is the voice on IndyCar on ABC and ESPN and certainly brought tears to many eyes with his words before signing off. It's difficult to say goodbye, especially to somebody with as much life left in him as Wheldon, but Reid did it the best way he knew how.

As people, including the BBC 5 Live Formula 1 Team, begin to wake up around the world, the outpouring of support for Wheldon's family will continue. We truly do live in a Global Village and racing fans around the planet will take time to remember one of the sport's top competitors.

NASCAR fans and drivers have dealt with their own tragedies over the years, so it's not a surprise to see support from Michael Waltrip's team. All racers know the dangers of getting in the car, but that doesn't make a loss of life any easier to accept.

IndyCar lost a mammoth figure today and will miss him dearly. I'm sure they will use the upcoming offseason to ensure all their safety requirements are as strong as possible before next season.

“We are very saddened by the tragic passing of Dan Wheldon. He was a great champion both on and off the racetrack and he will be greatly missed. We extend our deepest sympathies to his family.”

George Bodenheimer, the president of ESPN and ABC Sports, released that statement tonight (via rpm2night.com). The networks have helped expand the IndyCar Series with extensive coverage on both stations and will surely produce a nice video package featuring Wheldon in his honor.

Adam Schefter, ESPN's NFL insider, rarely tweets about things outside the football world, but felt the need to express his sympathies. He's right to say many lives will be altered due to Wheldon's death, especially those of his children who were never given a chance to completely appreciate their dad.

Erin Andrews' thoughts were re-tweeted by more than 100 of her 768,000 followers, furthering the outreach of Wheldon's death. As more people learn of the story and his young children, the support will only continue to increase.

Lee McKenzie, a Formula 1 pitlane reporter, expressed the thoughts on everyone's mind. No matter how often the dangers are regurgitated, it never rings true until something terrible happens. Racing is a sport for those with a lot of courage, which was definitely a trait of Wheldon.

NASCAR driver Trevor Bayne is the latest person with a direct connection to Wheldon to express his sorrow. It shows that anybody can be here today and gone tomorrow, so enjoy their company while you can.

Texas Rangers starting pitcher C.J. Wilson is also a racing enthusiast, so his comments are not surprising. He's one of the few athletes outside of the racing world with an inside perspective of the sport and it's dangers.

Yet another athlete from a different end of the sports spectrum that has been touched by Wheldon. Hope Solo has been making headlines a lot lately and took time to reflect on meeting the IndyCar star.

“It is with extreme sorrow that we have lost one of our champion drivers today. Dan was an Indy 500 champion and IndyCar Series champion with Andretti Autosport—and one of our closest competitors. Dan brought such enthusiasm and passion to the sport not often seen in motorsports. We will remember Dan’s tremendous racing accomplishments with our team as well his infectious personality. We would like to express our deepest sympathy to Dan’s family, racing team and friends today. Dan is one of IndyCar’s greatest champions.”

That was the statement from Andretti Autosport (via team website), which lost one of its key cogs on Sunday. The entire team will struggle to work their way through this difficult time and will surely do everything they can to support Dan's family.

Kevin Harvick, who finished sixth in Saturday night's NASCAR race in Charlotte, kept his message short and sweet. Racing clearly lost a well-respected individual today.

Judging by all the comments we've looked at, Kyle Busch's last sentence says it all.

RIP Dan Wheldon

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