NASCAR driver Tony Stewart ran over a competitor, 20-year-old Kevin Ward Jr., during a confrontation at a sprint car race on Saturday night at Canandaigua Motorsports Park in New York. Ward was killed.
In the video above, via YouTube, you can see Ward apparently confronting Stewart on foot after Ward's car is run into the wall. He is struck, dragged, then thrown a number of feet. According to Ontario County Sheriff Philip C. Povero, Ward was dead on arrival at the hospital.
Our original post, with several updates, is below.
CMP posted the following to its Facebook page:
Tonight's racing events were suspended due to an accident. Please hold off on any speculation until we have further information to share.
Accidents are, obviously, common in the motorsports world. To shut down a track entirely following one is extreme, and if you look at the above photo you'll notice a major law enforcement presence. That's not standard for an auto racing accident, either. (Fox Sports confirmed law enforcement is looking into the incident.)
Here's how alleged eyewitnesses are telling what happened. Keep the usual caveats about things you hear on the Internet in mind, but the number of people who saw it happen—and their previous track records for motorsports reporting—suggests the worst.
Charlotte Observer reporter Jim Utter says police are preparing a statement that will be released in the next few hours. Utter also says the driver allegedly struck by Tony Stewart's car was
17-year-old 20-year-old Kevin Ward Jr.
Stewart's currently scheduled to start 13th in Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup event at Watkins Glen.
Update (12:29 a.m.): The Sporting News's Bob Pockrass has some more details:
Rich Willis, who was at the track, said he didn't see exactly what happened but his sister down in Turn 1 did. He saw Stewart and Kevin Ward get into the wreck.
"People (who could see it better) said the guy got out of his car and was gesturing angrily at Tony Stewart when Tony Stewart came by during the next lap under yellow," Willis said in a phone interview. "He approached him and evidently when he was driving by the guy standing on the track gesturing at him, he gunned his engine.
"What happened was the back end kicked out and clipped the guy and the guy flew across the track."
Update (1:06 a.m.): More from Pockrass:
Tyler Graves, a sprint-car racer and friend of Ward's, told Sporting News in a phone interview that he was sitting in the Turn 1 grandstands and saw everything that happened.
"Tony pinched him into the frontstretch wall, a racing thing," Graves said. "The right rear tire went down, he spun on the exit of (Turn) 2. They threw the caution and everything was toned down. Kevin got out of his car. … He was throwing his arms up all over the place at Tony for most of the corner.
"I know Tony could see him. I know how you can see out of these cars. When Tony got close to him, he hit the throttle. When you hit a throttle on a sprint car, the car sets sideways. It set sideways, the right rear tire hit Kevin, Kevin was sucked underneath and was stuck under it for a second or two and then it threw him about 50 yards."