The death of Kevin Ward, Jr., on Saturday night Aug. 9 at Canandaigua Motorsports Park in upstate New York immediately brought further attention to the increasing tension involving the aggressive habits and tempers of drivers like Tony Stewart.
Ward, 20, was fatally injured when he was struck by a sprint car driven by Stewart. The incident occurred after the cars of Stewart and Ward cars collided on the track.
Ward spun out into the outer wall of the track, but within seconds he climbed out of his car and looked for Stewart’s car to express anger. The race had continued under a yellow flag and after three cars pass, Stewart’s car struck Ward and it dragged him along the track.
Ward was transported to a local hospital where was pronounced dead. Stewart was questioned by local law enforcement and NASCAR officials and he released a statement of condolence.
However, the aftermath of the tragedy continues to escalate.
Stewart’s temper and aggressive racing style has been well-documented.
The accident was the third serious sprint car crash for Stewart in about a year. He assumed the blame for a 15-car crash at Canandaigua Motorsports Park in July 2013 in which two drivers were hurt.
A few weeks later, he sustained a broken leg in a race at Oskaloosa, Iowa, forcing him out of the Sprint Cup series for the rest of the season.
But a death is another matter.
Videos posted from the racetrack have yet surfaced showing an angle from the accident from Stewart’s angle.
Is it possible Stewart was just trying to scare Ward and miscalculated? Could he charged with manslaughter?
Was Ward was dressed in dark colors and was difficult see. Was he completely at fault?
Should Stewart only have to feel the burden of killing someone whose his sudden retaliate of rage resulted in his own death.
What will happen remains unknown.
Philip Povero, the county sheriff, said the investigation is being reviewed by the district attorney and that currently there’s no to support intent or criminal charges.
Eyewitness testimony and video still is being gathered as the sheriff’s department seeks to reconstruct the crash.
Autopsy results from the Monroe County Medical Examiner’s Office still are pending for Ward, a native of Port Leyden, N.Y., and funeral arrangements also haven’t been announced by the family, which released a statement Sunday requesting time to grieve.
What do readers of TheWeeklyDriver.com think?
Should Stewart be held accountable?
Or does unfortunate responsible rest with Ward, now deceased, for leaving his vehicle to vent his anger toward Stewart?