Sprint car driver accidentally killed by Tony Stewart was under the influence of marijuana



NASCAR driver Tony Stewart will not face criminal charges for the on-track death of fellow driver Kevin Ward Jr. because Ward was under the influence of marijuana, authorities said.

Stewart was cleared Wednesday by a grand jury after an August 9 incident in which he mowed down Ward, a sprint car driver, at a dirt track in upstate New York.

The 20-year-old Ward had enough marijuana in his system to "impair his judgment," District Attorney Michael Tantillo said, according to USA Today.

An expert determined on the scene that Stewart was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol and that no toxicology was performed on the NASCAR star, Tantillo added.

The investigation originally centered on whether Stewart maneuvered his car in a manner to purposefully strike Ward as he furiously charged at Stewart's car after a collision.

Initial reports suggested Stewart may have intentionally swerved his car into Ward but the grand jury saw otherwise.

Footage showed Ward emerging from his car and running in a fit of rage towards Stewart during the sprint car race at Canandaigua Motorsports Speedway.

Ward shook his fists in fury as Stewart sped towards him before becoming caught in the back wheel and thrown through the air to his death.

The 20-person grand jury reviewed witness testimony, accident reconstruction details and police reports and determined the three-time NASCAR champion was not at fault in the incident, officials confirmed.

Enhanced video of the horrific accident was also used as part of the grand jury inquiry.

Stewart sat out three Nationwide Cup races this season before returning to the track. He has not yet publicly commented on the grand jury decision.

Tony Stewart Speaks About Ward Accident
Tony Stewart Speaks About Ward Accident

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