Three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart, struck and killed another driver late Saturday night while the two were competing in a dirt-track Sprint car race at Canadaigua, NY. The driver who was fatally killed in the collision was 20 year-old Kevin Ward Jr. Ward was a New York resident and up and coming Sprint car driver who was named Empire Super Sprint Rookie of the year.

According to Sheriff Philip Povero, Ward Jr. was pronounced dead on arrival as he was immediately transported to a local area hospital less than an hour after the accident occurred. According to witness reports and the video you are about to see below, the two drivers were racing when Stewart’s car appeared to veer Ward’s car off the track and into the wall. Ward’s car collided with the wall and spun out of control before stopping backwards on the side of the track with a flat tire. Ward then got out of the car and immediately began pointing at Stewart’s car as it came back around the track. Just seconds before Stewart’s car was set to pass the point of the accident, Ward ran into the middle of the track and tried to confront Stewart. Stewart’s car collided with Ward’s body which seemed to get stuck under one of the tires and was thrown over 50 feet.

In the video below, you can hear the screams and sobs of fans as they watch the fatal accident occur in front of their eyes. After Ward was thrown 50 feet, his body lay motionless as emergency personnel arrived at him just seconds later.

According to Povero, the incident is under investigation and thus far Stewart has been extremely cooperative with police. Stewart was released in the early hours of Sunday morning and is expected to be in the Watkins Glen Sprint Cup race on Sunday. Although the investigation is ongoing, no criminal charges have been filed yet against Stewart.

Witnesses and close friends of Ward believe that Stewart intentionally revved his engine and sped up seconds before contact with Ward. One witness, Tyler Graves, a sprint-car driver himself who has raced with Ward for many years said he was sitting in the grandstands and witnessed the whole thing:

“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.” He said in an interview with Sporting News

"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."

Graves added that he believed it was unintentional.

Latin Times tried to reach out to NASCAR for a statement, but they did not respond to any attempts to get a comment. However, Mike Arning, a spokesman for NASCAR and team Stewart-Haas racing, did issue a public statement shortly after the accident.

"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."

Unfortunately for Stewart he has a reputation of being a “bad boy” in the sport of NASCAR, and has been suspended before for altercations with other drivers. As recently as July of last year, Stewart was involved in an incident at the same track in Canadaigua where he caused a multi car wreck that sent two drivers to the hospital with serious injuries.

The race was cancelled after the accident and the track will remain closed pending the investigation into Ward’s death. Latin Times would like to send our condolences, thoughts and prayers to all the close friends and family of Kevin Ward Jr.

WARNING: The video of the accident below is extremely graphic in nature. If you do not want to see the accident, we recommend you stop reading now.