Tags: tony stewart | cleared | grand jury | ward | pot

Tony Stewart Cleared as Grand Jury Finds Ward Was on Pot

Image: Tony Stewart Cleared as Grand Jury Finds Ward Was on Pot
(NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Tony Stewart. (Kevin Liles/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters/Landov)

By    |   Thursday, 25 Sep 2014 10:09 AM

Finding that racecar driver Kevin Ward Jr. had marijuana in his system that could have impaired his judgment, fellow driver Tony Stewart was cleared by a grand jury of wrongdoing when his car struck and killed Ward at a New York track in August.

The Ontario County grand jury could have returned second degree manslaughter and criminal negligent homicide charges against Stewart, known for his ill temper, but Forbes said not enough of the grand jurors agreed that Stewart should stand trial on either of the charges.

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On Aug. 9, the two drivers were involved in a minor accident at the Canandaigua Motorsports Park that knocked Ward, 20, out of the race. Ward left his vehicle to confront Stewart whose car was moving on the track with the yellow flag out, noted Forbes. Stewart, 43, hit Ward and he was pronounced dead after being taken to a local hospital.

Ward's family said in a statement that it was disappointed in the grand jury's decision and the matter was "not at rest," but did not discuss their next move, according to The Sporting News.

"Our son got out of his car during caution while the race was suspended," said the family statement, noted The Sporting News. "All the other vehicles were reducing speed and not accelerating except for Stewart who intentionally tried to intimidate Kevin by accelerating and sliding his car towards him causing this tragedy. The focus should be on Mr. Stewart and not my son. This matter is not at rest and we will pursue all remedies in fairness to Kevin."

Ontario County District Attorney Michael Tantillo said in a news conference that grand jurors saw two enhanced videos of the accident and saw "no aberrational driving" by Stewart, noted the Sporting News.

"This has been the toughest and most emotional experience of my life, and it will stay with me forever," Stewart said in the statement released after Tantillo's news conference. "I'm very grateful for all the support I've received and continue to receive.

"While the process was long and emotionally difficult, it allowed for all the facts of the accident to be identified and known. While much of the attention has been on me, it's important to remember a young man lost his life. Kevin Ward Jr.'s family and friends will always be in my thoughts and prayers," Stewart added.

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Finding that racecar driver Kevin Ward Jr. had marijuana in his system that could have impaired his judgment, fellow driver Tony Stewart was cleared by a grand jury of wrongdoing when his car struck and killed Ward at a New York track in August.
tony stewart, cleared, grand jury, ward, pot
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2014-09-25
Thursday, 25 Sep 2014 10:09 AM
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