On lap 57, Bill Vukovich was exactly where everyone expected him to be -- leading the race and headed towards what would have been a third consecutive 500 victory.
But instead it was the final moment of his life. Coming around to lap other cars, Vukovich came upon a multi-car crash in progress. Rodger Ward's car was upside down with Al Keller and Johnny Boyd both trying avoid it. They touched wheels and as Boyd's car spun Vukovich hit it and climbed over it into the fence. His car rolled along the fence line and came to rest upside down.
Another veteran, Manuel Ayulo, had died in practice that year. Bob Sweikert earned the 1955 win, but a year later he would be dead also.