The Indy 500 is one of the oldest and most prestigious motorsport events in the world, dating back to 1911. Since its beginning, its came a long way to become the Indy 500 that we know of today. The race always consisted of a 200-lap 500-mile race with 33 drivers, and if there’s one thing we do know, driving at high speeds was never the safest. Over the years, there have been several accidents and unfortunate fatalities during the race with the first fatality at the first Indy 500 in 1911. Check out some more interesting, yet unfortunate and disastrous times at the Indy 500:
1. 1911- Sam Dickson Dies
Samuel Dickson was a riding mechanic and the first to be killed during an Indy 500 race.
2. 1913- Death of 4
Driver Mark Billman crashed into the outside wall during his 79th lap and died. Driver Lester Spangler was hit, causing his car to flip and died. G.L. Gordan, Lester’s mechanic also died on the scene. Riding mechanic Bob Hurst also died in an accident.
3. 1939- Floyd Roberts Fatally Crashes
4. 1955- Bill Vukovich Fatally Crashes
Bill Vukovich crashed during the 56th lap of the 1955 Indy 500.
5. 1958- Pat O’Connor
During the race, a 15-car pileup occurred in the first lap, leading to the death of driver Pat O’Connor.
6. 1964- Eddie Sachs and Dave MacDonald
A fiery accident involving drivers Eddie Sachs and Dave MacDonald on the second lap claimed their lives. The incident led to significant safety improvements in the gear worn like fire-resistant suits.
7. 1973- Swede Savage
Driver Swede Savage was involved in a crash during the race, and due to complications from his injuries, he passed away over a month later.
8. 1982- Gordan Smiley Fatal Crash
Gordon Smiley hit a wall at around 185 mph and his car immediately disintegrated and burst into flames.
9. 1991- Mark Dismore
Mark Dismore crashed during the 1991 practices. It took over six hours of surgery to save him but he recovered.
10. 2010- Mike Conway
Mike Conway survived the crash after going airborne.
11. 2017- Scott Dixon & Jay Howard
In 2017 Indy 500, Scott Dixon & Jay Howard both survived a bad crash due to an upgrade in technology and safety.