Updated 07:32 AM EDT, Thu, Jun 04, 2020

Tony Stewart Hits & Kills Driver in Sprint Car Race

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Tony Stewart, the three-time NASCAR champion, hit and killed a sprint car driver who was allegedly confronting the racer during a race in New York on Saturday night. 

According to a report by People, Kevin Ward Jr. crashed after he contacted with Stewart one lap earlier which prompted the victim to get out of his car when it stopped along the fence. Citing a video footage of the incident, People said that Ward was seen walking from his crashed car into the race track as other cars continued to pass through. The report added that when he gestured at the racer's passing car, he was struck by it.

The police said that they have already questioned Stewart but explained that criminal charges may be far from happening.

People also took note that Stewart was "visibly shaken" when he was interviewed by Ontario County Sheriff Philip Povero but the police officer said that the racer was cooperative during the initial investigation.

"This is right now being investigated as an on-track crash and I don't want to infer that there are criminal charges pending. When the investigation is completed, we will sit down with the district attorney and review it. But I want to make it very clear: there are no criminal charges pending at this time," Povero explained.

The Washington Post added that the police investigation on the incident has already gathered photos and videos of the race accident. Povero added that they will study the circumstances that led to the accident and also said that the autopsy result is still pending.

"Certainly that is a dimly lit part of the track. That is something that is looked at as well as clothing and other conditions that would certainly impact his ability in that area," Povero told Washington Post.

The police officer also explained that they are still gathering relevant evidence and information that will help them determine what really happened. "There are no foregone conclusions made at this point."

A witness told People that Ward was seen "trying to confront" Stewart when he was hit by the racer's No. 14 car.

"The next thing I could see, I didn't see [the other driver] anymore. It just seemed like he was suddenly gone," the witness told People and noted that the accident happened in a flash. 

Stewart's spokesperson immediately released a statement saying that Ward's death was a "tragic accident."

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. We're still attempting to sort through all the details," the spokesperson added.

The remaining events in the race, according to People, had already been cancelled - with organizers asking the public to "pray for the entire racing community of fans, drivers, and families."

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