One of the most tragic moments in sports this year was the unfortunate death of race care driver Kevin Ward Jr., who was hit and killed by popular driver Tony Stewart during a race in August. This week, a grand jury decided not to charge Stewart. It was also announced that toxicology reports on Ward showed he was under the influence of marijuana while he was driving and at the time of his death.
According to a story in USA Today, after Ontario County (N.Y.) District Attorney Michael Tantillo said that a grand jury had declined to indict Stewart in Ward’s death, he also explained that the level of marijuana in Ward’s system was high enough to impair his judgment. The Ward family released a statement saying it wasn’t satisfied with the decision and they will “pursue all remedies in fairness to Kevin.”
In a statement to the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, Ward Jr.’s mother Pam said, “Our son got out of his car during caution while the race was suspended. All the other vehicles were reducing speed and not accelerating, except for Tony Stewart, who intentionally tried to intimidate Kevin by accelerating and sliding his car toward him, causing the tragedy. The focus should be on the actions of Mr. Stewart and not my son.”
Pam Ward had no comment on the toxicology report. Stewart still could face a civil suit from Ward’s family.