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NASCAR Driver Hits, Kills Fellow Driver during Race

NASCAR driver Tony Stewart hit and killed another driver who climbed out of his car and walked onto the track during a dirt-track race in Upstate New York on Saturday evening. 

20-year-old Kevin Ward Jr. died from injuries sustained during the collision.

The incident comes one day before Stewart was scheduled in a race critical for his championship chances.

Stewart's team director Greg Zipadelli said Sunday morning that the 3-time NASCAR champion has decided he will not race in the event.

Ward had climbed from his car to confront Stewart after the two bumped into each other and Ward spun into the track's wall.

From video of the incident, authorities say it appears Stewart's right tire hit Ward.

An ambulance took Ward to the hospital, but authorities say he died before he arrived.

Ontario County Sheriff Phillip Povero says Stewart has fully cooperated with the investigation and Stewart acknowledges he hit Ward.

The department says its investigation is not criminal.

Catherine Ross

Catherine joined the WDAY 6 News team as a reporter and photographer in April of 2014 and is honored to bring you stories from around the Red River Valley. She grew up in a suburb of Minneapolis and got her first taste of the news industry during a high school mentorship at Fox 9 in the Twin Cities. Catherine graduated from Emerson College in Boston where she participated in the student-run TV station WEBN and spent a semester in Washington, DC working at Voice of America. Those opportunities gave her a front-row seat to the 2012 Presidential election cycle, reporting at the Iowa Caucuses, Republican National Convention and President Obama’s second inauguration. Now happy to be back closer to family, Catherine enjoys exploring the nature and culture of the upper Midwest. She’s an avid runner, novice foodie and lifelong Twins fan. If you have any story ideas or just want to say hello, Catherine would love to hear from you!

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