Kevin Ward’s father is speaking out about the crash and fatal killing of his son, Kevin Jr., who was run over by NASCAR driver Tony Stewart. Ward Sr. candidly said that "there's no reason for" the crash to have occurred that led to his son leaving his sprint car in an attempt to confront Stewart.
Reports USA Today on Aug. 13: “In Kevin Ward Sr.'s first extensive remarks since his son was killed when he was struck by a car Tony Stewart was driving during a sprint car race at Canandaigua Motorsports Park on Saturday, he said he didn't see the accident. He said it was the first time he had seen his son, 20, exit his vehicle during a race.”
In lap 14 of the 25 lap race, Ward Jr. was sent into the wall when Stewart came around and bumped him on the half-mile dirt track. Ward, visibly upset, exited his car, waving and pointing vehemently toward the approaching Stewart. The car driven by the 43-year-old Stewart appeared to fishtail just before he struck Kevin, who was killed instantly.
Kevin Ward Sr. on what happened that night:
Tony Stewart was the best damn driver by far on the track that night. Why he had to go up as high as he did and hog my son, there's no reason for it. Apparently, Tony Stewart was the only one driving out there who didn't see him. The one person that knows what happened that night is possibly facing 10 years in prison. Is he going to say what he done?
Kevin Ward’s parents previously issued a statement to the media, stating they “appreciate the prayers and support we are receiving from the community,” but needed “time to grieve and wrap our heads around all of this.”
Meanwhile, Kevin Ward’s aunt, Wendi Ward, swatted away condolences extended to her family from Stewart, instead calling him a “d**k.”
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 said, adding 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.”
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, which some see as a guilty move. Others say he sped up in an attempt to quickly turn the car out of Ward's path.
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