It's never easy to write about on-track accidents and fatalities, but unfortunately, the bell has tolled again.
In a sprint car race held in Upstate New York last night, a 20-year-old Kevin Ward Jr. was involved in a tie-up with NASCAR's Tony Stewart who was also competing. From raw video footage I saw, it's clear that in turn two at Canandiagua Motorsports Park Stewart's number 14 car had the inside line and made contact with Ward Jr.'s number 13 car. Due to this contact, Ward Jr.'s vehicle was spun and he wound up crashing. His right rear tire was flat.
From there, Ward Jr. made his way out of the vehicle and in what's said to be tradition — I don't follow sprint car racing or NASCAR, so I cannot confirm — he walked down further onto the dirt track that was under a yellow caution flag and began pointing at another driver's vehicle and then Stewart.
What happens next is up for debate.
Stewart's vehicle appears to fishtail/maneuver, then strikes Ward Jr.
From the only raw video I've seen of the happening, to me, it appears Stewart is carrying far too much speed under the caution flag.
Although the footage is widely available at this point and I could post it here, frankly, I believe it is not in the best interest of the victim's family or the story. If you'd like to see the video, you can find it here. Please note, it is raw content.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Kevin Ward Jr.'s family.
**For MORE information and anecdotes from folks on the scene, click "Read Article" below!
On Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014, at or about 10:30 p.m., there was an on-track incident at the Exit of Turn 2 at the Canandiagua Motorsports Park, during the Lucas Oil SuperSprint Feature race. The race was in Lap 14 of a 25-lap race, when one car lost control and spun coming to rest along the outside retaining wall. The race was immediately put into caution, slowing the cars on the track. The driver of the car that spun exited the race car and walked down the track onto the racing surface. Two race cars traveling in tandem approached as the driver continued down the track, gesturing to the two approaching cars. The first car swerved to avoid the driver out on the track. The second car, operated by Tony Stewart, struck the driver. The driver was treated by on-track medical staff and was transported to F.F. Thompson Hospital, where he was pronounced deceased at 11:15 p.m. At this point, Mr. Stewart has cooperated with the investigation, which is ongoing. The Sheriff's Office has asked the individuals who possess amatuer video to please make contact with this office so that copies of the video accounts can be obtained for review. Please contact the Sheriff's Office at 585-394-4560.