Friends and family say goodbye to Kevin Ward Jr.

Updated: 08/14/2014 5:52 PM
Created: 08/14/2014 8:30 AM WHEC.com
By: Associated Press and Berkeley Brean

Funeral services for the 20-year-old driver who died on a dirt track were held Thursday morning at South Lewis Senior High School in Turin, N.Y.

Kevin Ward Jr., a 2012 graduate of the school, lived in nearby Port Leyden.

Ward was sent into the wall when his car was bumped by NASCAR champion Tony Stewart's car during Saturday night's Sprint car race at Canandaigua Motorsports Park. He got out and walked onto the track, where he was hit by Stewart's car.
Outside the funeral this morning, Ward Jr.’s sister, Kayla Herring, approached us with a message for the public. Like everyone else, she was wearing an orange and white ribbon over her heart. She said, "From the family, we just wanted everyone to know why we are wearing orange and white ribbons today. We just want everybody to know that orange and white are bright colors and that even against black clothing, it does shine through."

The funeral was full of stories of Kevin Ward -- brash, funny, fast. How do you sum up 20 years in two hours? By the end, you got the sense that Kevin Ward loved his family, his friends and racing.

After the service, Ward Jr.’s casket was carried through a sea of orange.  They counted to 13, his number, and let go of orange and black balloons.

No charges have been filed in connection with Ward Jr.’s death but the Ontario County Sheriff's Office is still investigating. Stewart says he will not race Sunday in NASCAR Sprint Cup event at Michigan.

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