Community Reacts to Deadly Accident During Dirt Track Race

Community Reacts to Deadly Accident During Dirt Track Race

Driver Kevin Ward, jr. was struck and killed during the event.

The Canandaigua Motorsports Park is solemn this afternoon. Folks who witnessed the crash involving NASCAR champion Tony Stewart feel like they're still in a nightmare.

"It was, you know , surreal," lamented eyewitness, Elton Smith.

He watched the tragedy that killed Kevin Ward unfold before his eyes. "The strange part was, you could see the driver, running down the track, and then after Tony went by, he wasn't there."

Smith described a hush over the track when people realized Ward was no longer on the track. A makeshift memorial now sits trackside.

Racing enthusiasts say it's an unwritten rule among drivers; you should never leave your car no matter the situation.

"I hear you're not supposed to ever do [that]," said Kathryn Casella of Canandaigua. "I'm wondering why he chose to exit his vehicle... I thought that was kind of the first rule of racing."

But it did happen and Ward exited the car.

"Imagine yourself in a car accident on the Northway. The first thing you're going to do is make sure you're okay, then your adrenaline starts pumping, and the first thing you're going to do is confront that driver that just caused, you know, physical damage to your own property." said Smith, trying to piece together Ward's thought-process. "I wish it didn't happen."

A black cloud hangs over the racing community today...


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