NASCAR's Tony Stewart hits, kills driver at Canandaigua

By Anna Norris
By Scott Sasina

August 10, 2014 Updated Aug 10, 2014 at 9:44 PM EST

Canandaigua, NY (WBNG Binghamton) NASCAR driver Tony Stewart hit and killed a sprint car driver who had gotten out of his car and was on the track trying to confront Stewart during a race Saturday night.

An investigation is underway by the Ontario County Sheriff's Office. The department said the investigation is not criminal.

A video of the crash at Canandaigua Motorsports Park showed driver Kevin Ward Jr., wearing a black helmet and firesuit on a dimly lit track, walking toward Stewart's car before being hit.

Ward was pronounced dead Saturday night at a Canandaigua hospital.

Stewart's team originally said he would race in Sunday's event at Watkins Glen, but announced Sunday morning that Stewart was withdrawing.

"Mentally there is no way you could get in the car and drive again and be safe around everybody else. Your mind is someplace else. These guys have to be at the top of their game to take and actually run these cars, he's not right now," said Stephanie St. Michel, from Maine

St. Michel was in Watkins Glen for its annual NASCAR race.

NASCAR released an official statement Sunday on the fatal accident:

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family, friends, and fellow competitors of Kevin Ward Jr. We support Tony Stewart’s decision to miss today’s race and we will continue to respect the process and timeline of the local authorities and will continue to monitor this situation moving forward.”

Race fans in Watkins Glen said a crash like this hurts the whole racing community.

"There's a lot of healing that has to be done all the way around for the young mans family and Tony is surely not thinking about racing," said Linda Maiden, from North Carolina.

As of Sunday Ontario County Sheriff's Department is investigating the fatal hit as an on-track crash.

Read more on CBS News.

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