Driver Killed by Tony Stewart May Have Been High: Cops

Sheriff says levels were enough to 'impair judgment'
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 24, 2014 5:51 PM CDT
Driver Killed by Tony Stewart May Have Been High: Cops
This June 28, 2014, photo provided by Empire Super Sprints, Inc., shows sprint car driver Kevin Ward Jr.   (AP Photo/Empire Super Sprints, Inc.)

A grand jury in upstate New York today decided that NASCAR's Tony Stewart will not face charges in the death of fellow driver Kevin Ward in August, reports the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. Maybe the more surprising part of today's news, however, is that the local DA revealed that 20-year-old Ward had levels of marijuana in his system that "were enough to impair judgment," reports NBC News. Ontario County DA Michael Tantillo did not offer specifics, but he said the grand jury was presented with Ward's toxicology results.

Ward's family wasn't buying it: "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," says a statement from his mother, Pam Ward. "The focus should be on the actions of Mr. Stewart and not my son. This matter is not at rest and we will pursue all remedies in fairness to Kevin." The younger driver was killed as he walked on the track after his car spun out, looking like he was trying to confront Stewart. He died when Stewart's car hit him. (Read more Tony Stewart stories.)

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