NASCAR Driver, Tony Stewart, Cleared of Criminal Charges, Faces Wrongful Death Lawsuit
After an horrific crash that killed one NASCAR driver, Tony Stewart, the driver responsible has been cleared of criminal charges and liability, but the victim’s family may still pursue a wrongful death lawsuit.
In August of this year, driver Tony Stewart accidentally struck and killed fellow NASCAR driver Kevin Ward, Jr. in a sprint-race.
The accident occurred at Canadaigua Motorsports Park, when Ward reportedly pulled over and exited his vehicle, attempting to flag down Stewart in what appeared, according to surveillance footage, to be an attempt to confront the other driver. Ward reportedly spun out while racing alongside Stewart. When Ward stepped into the track, however, Stewart’s vehicle hit him, leading to Ward’s death.
On Wednesday, September 24th, a grand jury chose not to indict Stewart on criminal charges, although there was evidence that Stewart was high on marijuana at the time of the crash. Stewart could have faced serious manslaughter and DUI for drugs charges.
“I am sure from their deliberations and discussions that the fact that Kevin Ward was observed running basically down two-thirds of the track, into a hot track in the middle of other cars that were still racing, played a big, big factor in their decision,” one prosecutor said. However, he added that Stewart had enough marijuana in his system to impair his judgment.
Ward’s family said they may file a wrongful death lawsuit against Stewart. They said that “focus should be on the actions of Mr. Stewart.”
“Our son got out of his car during caution while the race was suspended,” the family’s statement said. “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 this tragedy.
“There are no winners in tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers remain with the Kevin Ward Jr. family and Tony Stewart as they all cope with this tragic incident at Canandaigua Motorsports Park,” NASCAR said in a statement. “This has been a difficult time for everyone involved and we have respected the local authorities responsible for reviewing this case.”
Wrongful Death Lawsuits in South Carolina
The unexpected loss of a loved is a very painful experience. While mourning their loss, surviving family members are often with mounting medical bills, the loss of an income, and sudden expenses such as hospital bills and funeral costs.
If a loved one dies as a result of the negligence, reckless, or intentional conduct of another, you may be entitled to bring a claim for wrongful death. A wrongful death lawsuit filed asserts a claim against a person who can be held legally responsible for a death. Surviving family members may be entitled to damages; money that can help with the expenses caused by the loss of their loved one.
Depending upon the circumstances, our South Carolina wrongful death attorneys may also assert a claim for punitive damages intended to punish the wrongdoer and deter others from engaging in such behavior.
The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Wrongful Death Lawsuit
The wrongful death lawyers at the Strom Law Firm, LLC, will help you during this extremely difficult and emotional time. You do not have to face the emotional and financial pain of a loved one’s wrongful death alone. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed through no fault of your own, contact the South Carolina wrongful death attorneys at the Strom Law Firm, LLC today for a free, no-cost consultation today. 803.252.4800