On Saturday night, Kevin Ward, Jr. was struck and killed by Tony Stewart’s Sprint car in upstate New York at Canandaigua Speedway. Authorities are still investigating and early Sunday morning Ontario County Sheriff Philip Povero said his department's investigation is not criminal and that Stewart was "fully cooperative" and appeared "very upset" over what had happened.
Here are the facts.
Ward and Stewart had an on track altercation that resulted in Ward getting out of his car and walking down the track. Ward approached Stewart’s car under caution and Ward was struck by the car and suffered trauma. He was later pronounced dead after being taken to a local hospital.
Stewart was questioned by police and as they said in their statement is fully cooperating with them and the investigation.
Stewart Haas Racing issued their own statement this morning about the accident, "A tragic accident took place last night during a sprint car race in which Tony Stewart was participating," an SHR spokesman said in a statement. "Tony was unhurt, but a fellow competitor lost his life. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends."
Ward who the Sherriff department had yet to identify due to notifying next of kin; was 20 years old. He was from Port Leyden, New York. Ward had only been racing Sprint cars since 2010.
On Sunday morning SHR announced that Stewart would race later today at Watkins Glen for the Sprint Cup series.
Later in the afternoon, Stewart released his own statement on the events of Saturday night.
"There aren't words to describe the sadness I feel about the accident that took the life of Kevin Ward Jr. It's a very emotional time for all involved, and it is the reason I've decided not to participate in today's race at Watkins Glen. My thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and everyone affected by this tragedy."
Regan Smith who drove the car on Sunday ended up finishing 37th after being involved in a late race accident.