Driver was on marijuana when he was killed on track by Nascar veteran's car

American stock car driver Tony Stewart will not face criminal charges in the death of an up-and-coming fellow driver in a dirt track race in New York, a grand jury ruled on Wednesday (Sept 24).

Prosecutor Michael Tantillo said that the grand jury has decided that there is no basis to charge the veteran stock car racing driver for the death of young Kevin Ward. 

He also revealed that toxicology report show that the 20-year-old was under the influence of marijuana during the race.

 The decision comes seven weeks after Stewart’s car struck and killed Ward during an Aug 9 race at Canandaigua Motorsports Park in the US.

“This has been the toughest and most emotional experience of my life, and it will stay with me forever.  I respect everything the District Attorney and Sheriff’s Office did to thoroughly investigate this tragic accident. While the process was long and emotionally difficult, it allowed for all the facts of the accident to be identified and known.” - Tony Stewart​

Ward died from massive “blunt trauma” after being struck by Stewart’s race car and dragged down the dirt track.

The incident occurred when Stewart and Ward collided during the race, sending Ward’s vehicle spinning into a wall which prompted race officials to call for a caution.

Decision slammed

Ward's family has blasted the decision to not charge Stewart. 

“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 told ESPN. 

“Our son got out of his car during caution, while the race was suspended,” the family said.

“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.”

Related report: Father of dead Nascar driver lashes out at three-time champ Tony Stewart

Related report: Warning graphic video: Angry racing driver steps on track, gets killed 

Source: AFP