• US Racing

NASCAR's Stewart involved in fatal crash

ESPN Staff
August 10, 2014 « Rossi confirms Haas talks | Working with Kimi no different to other drivers - Alonso »
© Getty Images

The man who runs a NASCAR team with F1-bound Gene Haas, three-time series champion Tony Stewart, was involved in an accident which claimed the life of Kevin Ward Jr on Saturday evening.

Stewart was competing in a dirt-track race at Canandaigua Motorsports Park in New York when he struck Ward, who had run onto the track to gesticulate at the NASCAR man following a crash between the pair on the previous lap which had brought out yellow flags. One car swerved out of the way but Stewart could not avoid Ward, 20, who was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.

A statement from the Ontario County (NY) Sheriff's Department said: "The driver of the car that spun exited the racecar and walked down the track onto the racing surface. Two race cars travelling 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 transported to FF Thompson Hospital, where he was pronounced deceased at 11.15pm. At this point, Mr Stewart has co-operated with the investigation, which is ongoing."

It has also been confirmed the incident is not being investigated at as a criminal matter.

The Stewart-Haas Racing team said in a 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."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
ESPN Staff Close