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Eyewitness gives account of Stewart accident


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An eyewitness who saw Tony Stewart’s Sprint car hit 20-year-old Kevin Ward Jr. said Ward was walking toward the middle of the track pointing at Stewart’s car before the collision occurred.

Ward and Stewart had been racing side-by-side for position as they exited a turn when the video shows Stewart's car sliding toward Ward's car and pushing it toward the wall. The rear tire of Stewart's car then appears to hit the front tire of Ward's car, and Ward spins into a fence.

Ward then unbuckles his harness, leaves the car and walks toward the middle of the track pointing at Stewart. One Sprint car swerved to avoid Ward before Ward was hit by Stewart's car.

The video shows Ward standing to the right of Stewart's No. 14 car, which seems to kick out from the rear and hit him.

A witness to the crash, sprint car driver Tyler Graves, told The Sporting News that Stewart’s action led to the fatality.

“I know Tony could see him,” Graves said. “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.”

The Ontario County Sheriff Department, which is investigating the accident, is seeking more video accounts of the collision as part of its investigation.

For more on this story, check back here or pick up Monday's Republic.

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