Race Car Driver Dies From Crash Injuries

F1's Jules Bianchi had been in a coma for months
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 18, 2015 8:32 AM CDT
In this photo taken on Oct. 4, 2014, Jules Bianchi of France arrives at the paddock of the Suzuka Circuit in Suzuka, central Japan, ahead of the Japanese Formula One Grand Prix.   (Toru Takahashi)
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(Newser) – Formula One driver Jules Bianchi died today in a French hospital from head injuries sustained in a crash at last year's Japanese Grand Prix. He was 25. Bianchi had been in a coma since the Oct. 5 accident, in which he collided at high speed with a mobile crane that was being used to pick up another crashed car. "Jules fought right to the very end, as he always did, but today his battle came to an end," says a family statement. "The pain we feel is immense and indescribable."

Bianchi competed in 34 races over the 2013 and 2014 seasons, scoring the first ever championship points for Manor—then known as Marussia—by finishing ninth at last year's Monaco Grand Prix. He is the first driver to die of injuries sustained in an F1 race since three-time world champion Ayrton Senna was killed at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix. Bianchi's accident occurred at the end of the race at the Suzuka circuit. In rainy, gloomy conditions, Bianchi's car slid off the track and ploughed into a crane picking up the Sauber of German driver Adrian Sutil, who had crashed out at the same spot one lap earlier.

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