|Kevin Ward, Jr.|
Ward discounted claims in news media reports that poor lighting conditions contributed to the collision. Ward said his son was dressed in an orange and black suit with fluorescent stripes down the sides that glowed under the lights. Because a caution flag was out, Ward said other drivers slowed and moved to the bottom of the track. "Apparently, Tony Stewart was the only one driving out there who didn't see him," he said.
Ward said he knew his son's injuries were very serious when track officials refused to let him onto the track. Ward said he and his wife watched for 45 minutes as emergency workers performed CPR on his son. While they were at the hospital, he says they received a call from their daughter, who said people were posting on Facebook that her brother had died. Ten minutes later, the emergency room doctor delivered the bad news to Ward and his wife, a registered nurse. Ward's wife believes their son was already dead at the track before he was transported to the hospital.
Ward said Ontario County Sheriff's deputies have met with them twice to discuss the ongoing investigation. They've been assured they will speak to every driver, gather video and other evidence and take statements from witnesses. "The one person that knows what happened that night is possibly facing 10 years in prison. Is he going to say what he done?" Ward Sr. said. Ward wants his son remembered as "a special person he was known" by many rather than the collision that claimed his life.
Other family members of Kevin Ward, Jr. also have been publicly critical of Stewart. "Thanks for thinking of our family Tony Stewart when you decided to be a dick," Ward's Aunt Wendi exclaimed on Facebook. Ward's sister lashed out at Stewart on Facebook as well.
Meanwhile, the Daily Mail reports that Stewart has "gone into hiding" following last weekend's tragedy. Stewart was flown on his $6 million private plane to Columbus, Indiana on Monday where it was loaded with luggage. The plane soon departed to an undisclosed location where Stewart is reportedly staying with friends and contemplating his future in racing. The Columbus Airport director Brian Payne could not say whether Stewart was on board the plane. Payne said Stewart didn't get off the plane during its brief stop-over to pick up his luggage. He declined to reveal the plane's destination.