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Tony Stewart hitting and killing Kevin Ward Jr.

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Tony Stewart hitting and killing Kevin Ward Jr.

Postby Paolo 2 on Mon Aug 11, 2014 2:03 pm

I have seen the video of this "accident" and I'm shocked, I've seen a lot of bad things in my time but nothing like this, never, I am speechless and I can't quite understand why no one talks of this and the few who briefly mention it seem to be under the impression that it was an accident (I presume that they didn't see the video). If then I put my lawyer's hat on :tophat: I become even more shocked as sometimes the US courts (and not only the US courts, that must be said) prosecute individuals for action that are, at the very best, trivial :eek: :eek: :eek: instead here he's not even under investigation :eek: :eek: :eek:
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Re: Tony Stewart hitting and killing Kevin Ward Jr.

Postby Lawrence on Mon Aug 11, 2014 5:28 pm

Well, I had not looked at the video until just now. All the videos I have seen are from the left hand side of the car, so I can't see how the impact happened. It would, of course, be investigated by the local police department. Keep in mind that each state has its own laws, there is no "United States law" concerning murder or manslaughter, that is covered under each individual state law.

But I gather there is an on-going investigation and he has been questioned twice. I think I need to see pictures from the right hand side of his car.

This article is useful: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/tony-stewart-questioned-twice-in-criminal-probe-into-fatal-crash/

Highlights:

Authorities questioned the 43-year-old Stewart once on Saturday night and went to Watkins Glen to talk to him again Sunday. They described him as "visibly shaken" after the crash and said he was cooperative.

On Sunday, Ontario County Sheriff Philip Povero said that investigators also don't have any evidence at this point in the investigation to support criminal intent. But he also said that criminal charges have not been ruled out....

David S. Weinsten, a former state and federal prosecutor in Miami who is now in private practice, said it would be difficult to prove criminal intent.

"I think even with the video, it's going to be tough to prove that this was more than just an accident and that it was even culpable negligence, which he should've known or should've believed that by getting close to this guy, that it was going to cause the accident," he said.

The sheriff renewed a plea for spectators to turn over photos and videos of the crash. Investigators were reconstructing the accident and looking into everything from the dim lighting on a portion of the track to how muddy it was, as well as if Ward's dark firesuit played a role in his death, given the conditions.
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Re: Tony Stewart hitting and killing Kevin Ward Jr.

Postby Paolo 2 on Mon Aug 11, 2014 6:16 pm

from the video you can clearly see (and ear) that he gunned the engine and that caused his car to fishtail, this is something that has been going on for ages, in Europe they banned these moves over 30 years ago but I've seen it many times even though not as extreme as this one (it took a while for drivers to understand that it's just plain stupid and for marshals to punish this kind of behaviour). I'm sure that he didn't intend to kill him, he just wanted to buzz him but if he - at 43 years of age with a number of titles under his belt and all that - can't keep his cool he should be banned from racing altogether. If I was a NASCAR driver I'd be strongly against him ever racing again. And with my lawyer's hat on :tophat: I think that this is a textbook example of involuntary manslaughter. And I'm amazed that he's been allowed to walk away without being arrested
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Re: Tony Stewart hitting and killing Kevin Ward Jr.

Postby Lawrence on Mon Aug 11, 2014 6:28 pm

Paolo 2 wrote:from the video you can clearly see (and hear) that he gunned the engine and that caused his car to fishtail,...


A number of people have noted this. But, I can't see where the standing driver was in relation to the car at that time. Did the fishtail occur before or after the driver got hit? Did the driver step towards the car in the process?

I'm sure that he didn't intend to kill him, he just wanted to buzz him...


I don't rule that out. Stewart does have a reputation as a hot head.

Just to make this all relevant to F1, the co-owner of Stewart's NASCAR team (along with Stewart) is Gene Haas...who is entering F1 next year with an American team.

Anyhow, there probably is a picture or video from the right hand side. We will see what develops.
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Re: Tony Stewart hitting and killing Kevin Ward Jr.

Postby Paolo 2 on Mon Aug 11, 2014 6:37 pm

Lawrence wrote:I can't see where the standing driver was in relation to the car at that time. Did the fishtail occur before or after the driver got hit? Did the driver step towards the car in the process?



he was in the middle of the track, with cars going slowly, Stewart's car is the only one fishtailing and with the engine revving high, and he's revving it just before hitting the other guy. I have seen an article (I can't remember where) where they say that if you watch the video closely you can see that Ward saw it coming and begun to move back, but it was too late. In respect to your first question Stewart gunned it just before hitting him, as you would expect. As I said I'm sure that Stewart didn't intend this to end up in tragedy but still IMHO it doesn't look very good for him
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Re: Tony Stewart hitting and killing Kevin Ward Jr.

Postby Lawrence on Mon Aug 11, 2014 6:44 pm

Paolo 2 wrote:he was in the middle of the track, with cars going slowly, Stewart's car is the only one fishtailing and with the engine revving high, and he's revving it just before hitting the other guy. I have seen an article (I can't remember where) where they say that if you watch the video closely you can see that Ward saw it coming and begun to move back, but it was too late. In respect to your first question Stewart gunned it just before hitting him, as you would expect. As I said I'm sure that Stewart didn't intend this to end up in tragedy but still IMHO it doesn't look very good for him


Yea, I tried to browse another board (www.planetf1.com)...and they locked the thread !!! (apparently they don't want to allow the issue to be discussed).

Yea, if he had the driver in sight (I don't know if there is an in-car cameras) and he gunned the engine (under a yellow), then I think there is at least a man-slaughter charge coming. I do note that his card is running wider coming into the camera frame than the car in front of him.
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Re: Tony Stewart hitting and killing Kevin Ward Jr.

Postby Lawrence on Mon Aug 11, 2014 6:50 pm

I just re-watched the video. I can't tell much for sure. It does appear that he hit him or ran over him with the right rear tire and the car then swings out to the left. I am not sure I see it swing out to the right first, I am not sure I see the driver standing on the track trying to move away, and I am not sure the acceleration before the accident is from Stewart (the acceleration sound seems to come from the 45 car, vice the 14 car....if either of them are the source of the sound).
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Re: Tony Stewart hitting and killing Kevin Ward Jr.

Postby Lyria on Wed Aug 13, 2014 6:23 am

Wow, that is a nasty accident, I'm amazed it's barely got a mention, a man died after all. As for the intention of the driver who killed the guy, I wouldn't like to say but it looked bad to me.

Whether he should ever race again after that, probably not. Saying that though other drivers have driven after a death, I suppose it very much depends on the circumstances.
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Re: Tony Stewart hitting and killing Kevin Ward Jr.

Postby Lawrence on Wed Aug 13, 2014 6:11 pm

Interesting article in Yahoo: http://sports.yahoo.com/news/criminal-charge-possible-stewart-ward-203116559--spt.html

Of note is the passage: "Unlike the cars Stewart drives on the NASCAR circuit, the sprint cars have no radios or instrument data recorders that could tell authorities exactly what was happening when Stewart hit Ward."

I thought that was the case, but I don't follow sprint cars, so wasn't sure if they had entered the 1970s yet.

Basically, they have two videos from outside the car. It is going to be hard to prove anything 'beyond a reasonable doubt," so I suspect no criminal charges will be forthcoming. He may be vulnerable in civil court, and I would not be surprised if he gets sued (and it is settled out of court).
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Re: Tony Stewart hitting and killing Kevin Ward Jr.

Postby Lawrence on Wed Aug 13, 2014 9:33 pm

"To explain the lure of speed you would have to explain human nature; but it is easier understood than explained...Speed is the second oldest animal craving in our nature..." -- T. E. Lawrence
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Re: Tony Stewart hitting and killing Kevin Ward Jr.

Postby Lawrence on Wed Sep 17, 2014 3:39 pm

Looks like it is going to a grand jury. This is going to get interesting.
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Re: Tony Stewart hitting and killing Kevin Ward Jr.

Postby f1datavis on Sun Sep 21, 2014 9:13 am

Looking at what is horrible footage, I can't see enough to make him guilty. That said, if he is, its no different to any other assault ending in death = jail and lots of it. I've never understand why the rules and laws of conduct somehow get suspended in a sports environment, whether soccer, ice hockey or motorsports. This could!d be an interesting case, and my thoughts are once more about conduct in motorsports under caution. Drivers generally don't honour them, and even if TS didn't mean to hit the guy, and pedestrian on track means caution flags which means stop with the right foot. Simple.
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Re: Tony Stewart hitting and killing Kevin Ward Jr.

Postby Lawrence on Tue Sep 23, 2014 12:48 pm

Well, what may save Tony Stewart is that there is apparently no pictures or film of the right hand side of the accident. So it is going to be hard to prove guilt if you can't see how the accident actually occurred. The standard still is "beyond a reasonable doubt." Added to the, the kid should not have been out there to start with. If a pedestrian steps in front of a speeding car.....

Anyhow, it is only a grand jury, so they are simply going to determine if there is enough evidence to go forward with the case. Most grand juries do whatever the prosecutors want them to. if there is a trial, it will be a year or more later.
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