Tony Stewart, three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion, hit and killed fellow driver Kevin Ward Jr. after an on-track altercation sent the 20-year-old Ward into the wall, leaving him out of the race. According to witnesses and video recorded from the stands, Ward exited his car, throwing his hands up in frustration, and walked toward Stewart as he came back around the track under the caution flag. Stewart's car came into contact with Ward, who was sucked under Stewart's car before being thrown several meters back toward the wall. Ward was pronounced dead on arrival at a nearby hospital.
Stewart had been scheduled to drive today in a NASCAR race at Watkins Glen, but Stewart-Haas racing, the team that Stewart races for and is co-owner of, has issued a statement saying he will sit out of the race, with Regan Smith taking over in the No. 14 car.
The Ontario County (N.Y.) Sheriff's Office issued a statement saying that Stewart is fully cooperating with the investigation, and has not been placed under arrest. The Sheriff's Office has reportedly asked witnesses with any amateur video to come forward, apparently in an effort to help shed light on the incident.
Several videos of the incident have been uploaded to YouTube. We have embedded one below in an effort to shed light on what happened. Please be advised that the footage is graphic, so be sure you want to see a racer losing his life before choosing to watch. We have also included footage of the Sheriff's press conference.