The right rear wheel of Hunter-Reay’s car touched the left front one on Wickens’s racer, sending the latter veering off right into the track wall. The high speed of the crash caused Wickens’s car to enter a spin and continue spinning as it became airborne after hitting the wall.
The ensuing mayhem caused drivers coming from behind to get caught in the wreck as well. According to the New York Post, James Hinchcliff, Pietro Fittipaldi, and Takuma Sato crashed into the first two drivers and the debris from their cars, all being eliminated from the race as a result.
Robert Wickens had it the worst, as he got helicoptered to a hospital with "injuries to his lower extremities, right arm, and spine," as well as with a pulmonary contusion. He will probably undergo surgery at the Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown.
The 2018 racing season is the first for 29-year old Wickens in IndyCar. He claimed a pole position in his debut qualifying at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg and was awarded Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year honors for his performance during the race.
Sunday’s crash is the first serious incident at Pocono after the death of Justin Wilson in 2015. The fatal incident took place on lap 180 after Sage Karam lost control of his car and crashed. Part of Karam’s car hit Wilson's helmet as he drove through the accident scene. He died the following day.