Authorities: Driver walking on New York track dies after he is hit by NASCAR's Tony Stewart

n this April 11, 2014, photo, Tony Stewart stands in the garage during practice for a NASCAR Sprint Cup series auto race at Darlington Speedway in Darlington, S.C. Authorities are investigating a serious crash that injured one person Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014, at a New York dirt track where Stewart was racing on the eve of a NASCAR race.
Image Credit: (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)

CANANDAIGUA, N.Y. - NASCAR driver Tony Stewart struck and killed a driver who was walking on a dirt track during a race in upstate New York, authorities said Sunday.

A video of the crash at Canandaigua Motorsports Park showed driver Kevin Ward Jr. stepping toward Stewart's car before being hit and hurtled 50 feet (15 metres).

The Ontario County Sheriff's Department would not identify the driver but said he was pronounced dead Saturday night at a hospital in Canandaigua.

Sheriff Philip Povero said his office is not investigating the incident as a criminal matter. He said Stewart, 42, was "'fully co-operative" while being questioned and released.

Calls to Stewart's representatives were not immediately returned. The three-time NASCAR champion is scheduled to race in NASCAR's event Sunday at Watkins Glen.

Michael Messerly, a fan who witnessed the crash, said it appeared that Stewart hit the driver as he was walking on the dimly lit track after they had collided on the previous lap. He said the driver was wearing a dark racing suit as Stewart's car passed him.

The track cancelled the remainder of the race immediately and posted a message on its Facebook page encouraging fans to "pray for the entire racing community of fans, drivers, and families."

ADDITIONAL COVERAGE:

NASCAR's Tony Stewart pulls out of Sunday race after hitting, killing driver

Video is available, but no embedded. See it here.


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