Before the first lap of the 1958 Indianapolis 500 was completed, 15 cars had banged around in a chain-reaction accident that sent rookie Jerry Unser's car over the wall and Hoosier favorite Pat O'Connor's barrel rolling down the track before coming to rest on its wheels.

Unser was lucky, but O'Connor was not. His death haunted the remaining 199 laps of the race. The accident had also taken out the two fastest qualifiers, Dick Rathmann and Ed Elisian. That left Jimmy Bryan, Eddie Sachs, George Amick and Tony Bettenhausen battling for the lead.

Bryan kept it after lap 126 and went on to win, but his victory was muted by the loss of his friend O'Connor. It was the second win in a row for the car George Salih built and Sam Hanks drove in 1957.