As they say, watch to the end. I saw the initial accident and was like, what's the deal. He's still alive. I'm a bit of a Stewart fan, but whether accidental or not, I don't know how he avoids a manslaughter trial. That's not something that any racing body should stand in to prevent a proper investigation. I still hope it was an accident, but there is too much wrong with that for it not to be investigated.
Race car driving ... assumption of the risk. Manslaughter requires that there be criminal negligence and recklessness. Proportionate to the probability of danger of attending the act. The decedent contributed to his own death almost 100%.What moron tries to walk out into the track in the middle of a race, at night? A professional race car driver needs to keep in control of their temper, and save this behavior for after the race.
You especially do not get out of the car in a night race when you are wearing a dark race suit. Still, it is spooky how it all went down and warrants investigation (even if it was accidentally, if only to avoid similar accidents in the future).
Legally we got civil and criminal concepts being stated, but I agree race car driving is inherently dangerous and people die from it.
I agree with your comments. Ward definitely put himself in harms way. Having read various eyewitness accounts, here are my thoughts:The initial incident was pure racing issue. Ward didn't like being pinched, but that's racing.Ward wanted retaliation. He's not the first to ever do this. Stewart's done it himself after incidents. This is common on short tracks and stupid.Ward didn't just get out of his car, he didn't just gesture, he moves down into the groove. While Stewart wasn't as low as the preceding 45 car, he was still a car length lower than Ward's car.Stewart was going slower, the video can't confirm, but I suspect he slowed down enough to make sure Ward wouldn't walk in front. Once Stewart got the car along side, rather than waiting for Ward to throw something (usually a helmet), Stewart gunned the engine.Those cars are designed to kick out to the right, when the engine revved, the tires spun, and the car kicked out. Ward was probably at the front quarter panel when Stewart thought he was clear enough, the car skidded into Ward and pulled him under the right rear tire.I see an argument for negligence and recklessness would be not getting to the absolute bottom line of the track, stopping the car, and gunning the engine. While I can see a prosecutor pushing this to a trial, I think the defense can show precedent that drivers only move out of the way, they don't stop and render aid, and only slow until they pass the hazard.Just based on what I've seen in the video and previously. I don't see enough to put Stewart in jail, but it will likely hurt sponsorship, and that's huge when he is also a car owner and team owner. I think the various racing commissions should develop policies for heavily fining drivers getting out of their cars and seeking retaliation on the track. NASCAR itself wobbles on this year after year. Sometimes they fine, other times they'll say its between the drivers to police themselves. Emotions run high on a short track, but drivers should be discouraged from getting out of their cars and entering a driving line away from their vehicle. Because Ward did so, I personally wouldn't hold Stewart criminally responsible.
As I said elsewhere, I attribute it to road rage. When you get so angry you wander out onto a race track, with a race in progress, to confront a guy in a speeding car, you become a candidate for a Darwin Award. I feel bad for the guy, but it was entirely avoidable by staying the hell off the middle of the race track.Stewart shouldn't be charged with anything
I would not walk in traffic on the typical interstate, why would it be advisable at night in a dark racing suit with cars driving fast?
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