A tragedy of unspeakable proportions occurred over the weekend at the Canandaigua Motorsports Park in New York when driver Kevin Ward Jr died following an accident that resulted in him being pulled under the wheel of Tony Stewart’s car in the middle of a race. The three-time NASCAR champion was racing in the Empire Super Sprints series in preparation for the a Cup race at Watkins Glen International.
The race ran without incident until Stewart and Ward got into an on-track collision that resulted in Ward’s car getting pinched into a wall. Ward immediately got out of his race car and vented his ire towards Stewart, who kept on racing. That’s when things took a dramatic and tragic turn. As Ward continued to scream at Stewart, Stewart’s car hit him and according to numerous eyewitness accounts, sent Ward flying "about 50 yards."
Ward was immediately taken to to Thompson Hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival.
The Ontario County (N.Y) Sheriff’s Office has since launched an investigation into the accident. Stewart was not arrested after the crash, although the sheriff’s office has said that he was cooperating with the investigation.
You obviously don’t want to see something like this happen to anyone and our thoughts go out to the family of Kevin Ward Jr. It’s a tragedy that could’ve been avoided if people had their wits and not acting on angry impulses. In the video after the jump it is inconclusive as to whether the accident was just that or if Stewart was trying to intimidate Ward by accelerating past him so closely.
For the sake of everyone involved, we hope that a resolution to this tragedy happens soon.
Click past the jump to learn more about the incident and to see a video of the events.
Video of the accident
This video is graphic, so please watch it at your own risk
Why It Matters
Racing is a dangerous sport and this is a clear sign of what happens when someone loses their cool. Whether Stewart was acting out of ire too is unknown, but for now we will reserve our judgement. All we know is that you never walk onto a race track during a race, whether you’re a driver, team member or fan.
Our condolences go out to Mr. Ward’s family during this time.