On the night of Saturday, Aug. 9, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver and soon to legend Stewart hit a fellow driver who was on-foot while participating in a sprint-car circuit race in northern New York. Kevin Ward Jr, the driver who was struck following an attempt to confront Stewart about an accident he influenced, was pronounced dead soon after.
Ontario County authorities are currently continuing to investigate the incident and have said that Stewart has been cooperative thus far. A video has surfaced showing the incident as it occurs, it is graphic in nature.
As a casual fan of major racing may know, Stewart is without a doubt a big name in the sport. Since he doesn’t have a wife or children, racing can be considered the most important thing in his life and because he this, he often participates in lower-level racing events such as dirt track sprint-car races.
This isn’t the first time that Stewart has caused newsworthy incidents on the sprint-car level. In July of 2013, Stewart was the center-point of an accident that nearly paralyzed a teenage girl after she suffered a back injury. In August of 2013, the very next month, Stewart suffered a broken leg following another crash on the sprint-car level; he would go on to miss the remainder of the NASCAR season.
At this point, no criminal charges have been filed nor is there any definite indication that any will be, so far. However questions may rise about the amount of responsibility there is in competing in so many races.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family, friends, and fellow competitors of Kevin Ward Jr. We support Tony Stewart’s decision to miss today’s race and we will continue to respect the process and timeline of the local authorities and will continue to monitor this situation moving forward.”
“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.”
See the video of the accident here.