Tony Stewart isn’t in the clear just yet regarding the death of Kevin Ward Jr., who died of blunt trauma injuries after being struck by Stewart’s car in 2014. Criminal charges against Stewart were dropped two years ago, but Ward Jr.’s parents have since filed a civil lawsuit that they’re fighting to be heard.
Tony Stewart’s legal team asked a federal court judge in Utica, New York, to dismiss the family’s claims regarding negligence, wrongful death, and pain and suffering last month, according to WETM 18.
However, the lawyers representing Ward’s parents just filed paperwork asking the judge to hear the case, with hundreds of pages of testimony from other racers and track officials who saw the incident, the full deposition of Ward’s father Kevin Ward Sr., as well as a full accident reconstruction by experts hired by the Ward family that counters the one compiled by Stewart’s legal team. NBC Sports has a full breakdown of how the different accounts of the story differ here, for the curious.
Ward Sr. believes that Stewart purposely drove towards Ward Jr. and misjudged how much he gunned the engine, ultimately hitting and killing Ward Jr, who was outside of his race car. The engineering report obtained by the Wards from Gordon Engineering concluded that the way Stewart applied the throttle and steered his car caused it to drift up the track where Stewart hit Ward Jr.
While Ward Jr.’s parents admit that THC—the active ingredient in marijuana—was detected in their son’s blood from that night, they continue to deny that he had enough of it in his system to cause impairment. The family argues that Ward Jr. hadn’t inhaled or ingested marijuana that night at all, per WETM 18.
Despite the family’s objections, a hearing is set later this month to consider the dismissal of their case.