Tags: kevin ward | marijuana | use | tony stewart

Kevin Ward's Marijuana Use Gets Tony Stewart Off the Hook

By    |   Friday, 26 Sep 2014 07:00 AM

Kevin Ward's marijuana use played a key factor in Tony Stewart not being indicted by a New York grand jury, as the panel ruled there wasn't enough evidence to bring the NASCAR superstar to trail for the 20-year-old's death.

In deciding not to return either second-degree manslaughter or criminally negligent homicide charges against Stewart, Ontario County district attorney Michael Tantillo told reporters on Wednesday that toxicology reports showed Ward was definitely under the influence of marijuana during the Aug. 9 race, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The fatality occurred after Ward's racing car crashed into a fence while running next to Stewart's vehicle at Canandaigua Motorsports Park's half-mile dirt track, in a race unrelated to NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series.

Tantillo said Ward's marijuana levels were high "enough to impair judgment," including getting out of his wrecked vehicle and walking on the track during a yellow flag to confront Stewart 43, whose car came back around the oval and struck Ward. He died in a hospital hours later.

After the ruling, Ward's family said in a statement that Tantillo and the grand jury misplaced their focus – putting it on Ward when it should have been on the three-time NASCAR champion, according to ESPN.

"Our son got out of his car during caution, while the race was suspended," the Ward family statement said, noting that Stewart's action, not Ward's action's due to his marijuana use, caused the accident.

"All other vehicles were reducing speed and not accelerating except for Tony Stewart, who intentionally tried to intimidate Kevin by accelerating and sliding his car towards him, causing this tragedy," the statement continued. "The focus should be on the actions of Tony Stewart and not Kevin. The matter is not at rest and we will pursue all remedies, in fairness to Kevin," .

The family is consulting their attorneys about what to do next, including a civil lawsuit against Stewart, according to TMZ. The celebrity news outlet reported that the family members remained upset about the grand jury's decision this week.

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Kevin Ward's marijuana use played a key factor in Tony Stewart not being indicted by a New York grand jury, as the panel ruled not there wasn't enough evidence to bring the NASCAR superstar to trail for the 20-year-old's death.
kevin ward, marijuana, use, tony stewart
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2014-00-26
Friday, 26 Sep 2014 07:00 AM
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