Coroner: Dan Wheldon died of "blunt head trauma"

The cause of death of driver Dan Wheldon is what many speculated since his fatal crash happened early in Sunday's Izod IndyCar Series race in Las Vegas.

Clark County, Nevada coroner Mike Murphy confirmed to Fox 59 late Monday afternoon that the two-time Indianapolis 500 champion died from "blunt head trama" during the lap 11 fiery crash that ended the series season finale.

Wheldon's injuries occured when he hit the back wheel of another and went airborne, slamming into the catch fence and wall before coming to a rest at the bottom of the backstretch.

He was pulled from the car quickly and placed into an ambulance, which took him to a medical helicopter that was standing by. It took off from the Las Vegas Motor Speedway at 1:19 P.M. local time and landed at University Medical Center.

Wheldon was prounounced dead a few hours later.

This fatality was the first for the Izod IndyCar Series in a race since its inception in 1996. Paul Dana was killed on March 26, 2006 during a practice run at Miami-Homestead Speedway. Tony Renna also lost his life in 2003 during practice at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which is where Scott Brayton died during pre-Indianapolis 500 practice in 1996.