LAS VEGAS - A reigning Indy 500 champion is dead after one of the worst racing crashes in years.

One driver said it looked like a war scene in Las Vegas yesterday.

Dan Wheldon, of Britain, was killed when his car went airborne, hit the fence above the wall and burst into flames.

Wheldon was airlifted to a hospital and died a short time later. The race was canceled.

Wheldon, 33, leaves behind a wife and two young sons.