25 Sep 2014

Family of dead NASCAR driver unhappy with verdict

2:23 pm on 25 September 2014

The family of racing car driver Kevin Ward have criticised a United States grand jury's decision not to charge Tony Stewart with the death of their son, saying they will "pursue all remedies."

Stewart, who is one of the most popular drivers in America's NASCAR stock car circuit, struck and killed the up-and-coming 20-year-old driver during a race in New York last month.

Ward had got out of his car while the race was under a caution flag.

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

The family told ESPN the focus should be on the actions of Tony Stewart and not their son despite toxicology reports revealed that Ward had been under the influence of marijuana.

The family says "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."

Almost two dozen people testified, including a number of race car drivers, racetrack employees and volunteers, two accident reconstructionists, medical personnel and several police officers before the grand jury decided not to charge Stewart.

Following the incident, NASCAR implemented new rules barring drivers from getting out of their vehicles, unless it is on fire, until safety personnel arrive.