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Tony Stewart fatal crash statement: Police ask spectators for their videos

Tony Stewart released a statement on the death of Kevin Ward, who was hit by Stewart's car and killed at Saturday night’s race in Canandaigua Motorsports Park in upstate New York. Stewart, who clipped Ward’s race car causing it to crash, hit Ward with his sprint car as Ward walked on the race track yelling at Stewart for the crash, according to Fox Sports on Aug. 10.

Tony Stewart opts out of Watkins Glen after friction on social media. He released a statement on Kevin Ward's death today.
Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images

The crash is being investigated as a “track incident,” it is not a criminal investigation, report police today. Ward, who was enraged as he walked across the race car track, caused the car in front of Stewart to swerve before Stewart’s car came upon him. Stewart caught Ward with the rear tire of his car, dragging him about 50-feet before Ward went flying and landed about 50-yards away.

According to ABC News today, Ward was pronounced dead when got to the hospital. Earlier on Sunday it was announced that Stewart had plans to compete at the Watkins Glen race today, but he saw some backlash from that decision. Some on social media wrote how this was appalling and that Stewart should not be allowed to enter that race.

It is not known why Stewart changed his mind, but he did and he opted out of the Watkins Glenn race today. Some on social media pointed the finger at Stewart for running over Ward. The preliminary investigation said it was an accident, but some people thought that Stewart could have avoided hitting Ward.

Stewart’s short statement:

''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.''

The three-time NASCAR champ sounds as if he is in his own private pain over this accident today. The race at Watkins Glen was considered “critical” for Stewart’s championship chances, but instead of driving sprint car 14 as Stewart had originally planned, another driver took over the car with Stewart out of the race.

Stewart, 43, was going about 30 to 35 mph when his car struck 20-year-old Ward. Stewart appeared “very upset” over the accident and he was cooperating with police, the investigators report.

"Fox and Friends Weekend" live on Sunday morning reports that police are asking any spectators who took videos of the crash to please make them available to investigators. Forbes also reports that police are asking for the help of anyone at the race who may have taken a video of Ward getting hit. They would like spectators with videos capturing the fatal accident to contact them.