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Kevin Ward family, Tony Stewart react to crash accident: Did Stewart see Ward?

Kevin Ward’s family and Tony Stewart have released statements after Kevin Ward was killed by Tony Stewart during Saturday’s sprint car race in Canadaigua in New York. Kevin Ward’s family and Tony Stewart’s reactions to the fatal crash accident focus on the sadness and the tragic loss of a 20-year-old young man, reports ESPN NASCAR on Aug. 11.

Kevin Ward family, Tony Stewart react to crash accident: Did Stewart see Ward?
Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images

On Sunday afternoon, Stewart released a statement expressing his profound sadness: "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.”

Similar to Tony Stewart, Kevin Ward’s family also released a statement expressing the famiy’s profound sadness and grief: "We appreciate the prayers and support we are receiving from the community, but we need time to grieve and wrap our heads around all of this."

An investigation into the events of Saturday night’s fatal accident is ongoing. A video of the crash at Canandaigua Motorsports Park in upstate New York shows Kevin Ward Jr. getting out of his No. 13 car after he had spun into an outside wall following contact with Stewart’s car during lap 14 of a 25-lap race. The 20-year-old driver can be seen wearing his black helmet and firesuit climbing quickly out of his car and walking briskly around it toward Steward’s approaching No. 14 car.

While another car right before Stewart’s car was able to narrowly avoid hitting Ward -- who was walking on the track toward the racecars with pointing a finger and yelling – Stewart was apparently not able to avoid contact and Ward was hit by Stewart’s right rear tire and hurtled for 50 feet. The 20-year-old young driver was pronounced dead before the ambulance arrived at the hospital. Ward, who was from Port Leyden in New York, was in his fifth season in the Empire Super Sprints series. He had begun racing in go-kart events when he was just four years old.

Kevin Ward’s family, Tony Stewart, and many NASCAR fans have likely reviewed the video of the fatal crash accident multiple times asking why Ward didn’t stay in his car or away from the oncoming racecars. At the moment, no criminal charges are pending against Tony Stewart, reports CNN. However, investigators are looking for any additional videos that viewers might have taken of the fatal accident. Some of the details that investigators are closely examining is the lighting on the dirt track, Ward’s dark clothing, and whether Stewart was able to see Ward as he came yelling toward his car.