During a sprint car event on Saturday night at Canandaigua (N.Y.) Motorsports Park, Kevin Ward Jr. has passed away after being struck on the track by NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Tony Stewart.
During the event, Ward Jr. was spun out by Stewart. He then got out of his car to display his displeasure, when Stewart’s car would make contact with Ward, sending him sliding across the track.
At approximately 3 a.m. EST on Sunday, Ontario County Sheriff Phil Povero confirmed to the media that Ward Jr. was transported to hospital via ambulance, before being pronounced dead upon arrival. Povero added that Tony Stewart has been co-operative in their investigation and believe have returned back to Watkin’s Glen, where Stewart is scheduled to run the Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday afternoon.
“Mr. Stewart has been fully cooperative… He is very upset and confirmed his contiuning cooperation,” Provero said.
There are no charges at this moment, however Povero stated that, “This is an on-going investigation of an on-track crash”.
Once the investigation is complete, the District Attorney office will review all the evidence and decide whether to press charges or not.
When the incident happened, Canandaigua canceled the rest of the racing program for the night.
“People that witnessd it were horrified,” Povero said. “They were extremely shocked.. The people at Canandaigua Motorsports have cooperated fully.”
At approximately 4:15 a.m. EST, Stewart Haas Racing released the following statement, “A tragic accident took place last night during a sprint car race in which Tony Stewart was participating. Tony was unhurt, but a fellow competitor lost his life. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. We’re still attempting to sort through all the details and we appreciate your understanding during this difficult time.”