NASCAR's Tony Stewart hits and kills driver Kevin Ward Jr. during race

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It was a tragic night as Canandaigua Motorsports Park in New York Saturday (Aug. 9). During a dirt-track race, part of the Empire Super Sprint series, driver Kevin Ward Jr. was killed while walking on the track after he was hit by NASCAR star Tony Stewart.

It all happened after Ward crashed into the wall and exited his car. While the track was under a yellow flag, he walked towards Stewart, gesturing with his arm. Stewart then struck Ward, who was later pronounced dead from the injuries. 

In a statement, a spokesperson for Stewart tells the Charlotte Observer, "A tragic accident took place last night during a sprint car race in which Tony Stewart was participating. Tony was unhurt but a fellow competitor lost his life. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. We're still attempting to sort through all the details and we appreciate your understanding during this difficult time."

Video of the incident has appeared online. Zap2it has chosen not to include it due to the graphic nature of the material. A press release from the Ontario County Sheriff's office says Stewart is cooperating with their investigation.

Initially it was believed he would compete in Sunday's NASCAR race, however it was announced by Stewart-Haas Racing that he would be replaced by Regan Smith.
Photo/Video credit: Getty Images