Canandaigua, NY, United States (NewsBahn) – A sprint car driver who had climbed from his car and was on the track trying to confront Tony Stewart during a race was struck and killed by Stewart.
The incident involving Kevin Ward Jr., later pronounced dead at at a hospital in Canandaigua, happened Saturday night at a reportedly dimly lit track at Canandaigua Motorsports Park.
Ontario County police reportedly questioned Stewart about the incident, in which Ward was hurtled 50 feet in the air, though they said they don’t consider it a criminal action.
The Stewart co-owned Stewart-Haas Racing issued a statement on the situation Sunday morning.
“A tragic accident took place last night during a sprint car race in which Tony Stewart was participating,” the statement read. “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.”
Stewart was scheduled to drive Sunday at Watkins Glen International in south central New York state and is in the thick of the NASCAR championship race.
It isn’t yet known if he will take part in the event.