Kevin Ward’s grieving family had a few choice words for Tony Stewart. While Kevin’s parents issued a discreet statement to the media, Ward’s aunt wrote a blunt Facebook post summarizing the real way the family feels after Ward was run over last weekend by NASCAR champ Tony Stewart. Ward’s aunt, Wendi Ward, swatted away condolences extended to her family from Stewart, instead calling him a d**k.
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The post, which has since been removed, said:
I feel numb, I look into the eyes of family and see a deep hurt that should not be there, my heart has pounded out of my chest for hours, thanks for thinking of our family tony Stewart when you decided to be a dick. My nephew was one of a kind, a true race car driver, a piss head and a sweetie all in one, a young man who will be truly missed by many! Aunt Wendi loves you budster, forever in our hearts.
The incident happened Saturday during a non-NASCAR sprint-car race at Canandaigua Motorsports Park in New York. On lap 14 of 25 on the half-mile dirt track, Stewart’s car made contact with Ward’s, bringing out the caution flag for drivers to reduce speed. Ward’s car blew a tire, and sent him into the wall.
Irate, Ward climbed out of his wrecked car and walked into the lower track as other divers whizzed by. He appeared to point at and gesture in anger toward Stewart, whose car fishtailed, struck Ward and sucked him under, throwing his body up against the track wall.
Video of the incident has gone viral.
The investigation into the killing, led by Ontario County Sheriff Philip Povero, has not resulted in any charges being brought against Stewart, who has been described as “visibly shaken” after the incident. However, Povero stressed that this is an ongoing investigation, and since neither Ward’s nor Stewart’s car had a dash cam, the sheriff’s office is looking at all available video before concluding their inquiry.
“Investigators continue to see witnesses, gather evidence and develop the racetrack crash reconstruction” of the incident that claimed 20-year-old Ward’s life. Povero added that the investigation is likely to last at least two more weeks.
“However, it would be inappropriate to discuss details or findings of the investigation with the media at this time,” Povero said. “We will meet with members of the Ontario County district attorney's office and discuss with them all aspects of the investigation.”
The autopsy report stated that Ward died of massive blunt force trauma. His funeral is scheduled for Thursday and will be held in Turin, N.Y.
The incident has touched off a firestorm of opinions. One camp blames the inexperienced Ward for getting out of his car in an attempt to confront Stewart. Others say the 43-year-old Stewart, a driver with a hothead reputation and who has been involved in multiple dustups in his career, purposely drove near Ward to send his rival a message. Stewart appeared to throttle up and rev his car just before hitting Ward.
A sampling of posted comments:
It’s sad that the young man died and yes Tony Stewart can be a hot head, but look at the tape! Kevin Ward Jr. got out of his car on a dirt track, wearing black at night and ran onto the middle of the track; I do believe a lot of the blame has to go there – cford
Funny how the other 2 drivers swerved around to avoid Ward wearing the said black outfit! Sure Ward's accountable, but so is Stewart! Stop trying to defend a jack*** millionaire that committed a crime! – BorisBulldog
You look at the video, the 45 car at the last second swerved to miss him. You can't hardly see to the right of you, the head restraint won't allow it, plus the wing above you, tall hood scope, you can't see much at all. So, look at the video again, and see how close the 45 car was. Yes it is sad, but no way was he killed on purpose. – Gary Tomlinson
What kind of idiot gets out of his car and marches on to the track full of cars racing? It's sad that Ward died, but in my eyes he killed himself. – miketbuck
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