UPDATE to: Give The Ward Family a Little Space
Original post from 9/2014:
The news was good for Tony Stewart: No indictment from the Aug. 6th incident where Kevin Ward Jr. was killed on the track.
Tony was cleared by a grand jury of 23 people, the majority of whom could not be convinced by prosecutors that any of the evidence was strong enough to bring trial.
His family read a statement saying they believe the grand jury mis-interpreted the evidence, and that they will seek other means to receive justice for Kevin Jr. I can't imagine the hurt of losing a child, much less in an accident like the one that violently took Kevin Jr.'s life. So I can only expect that much of what you hear coming from the Ward family is the result of that shock and denial. I hope, like Tony Stewart, that the family can come to terms with their loss. And when they do, they will realize that their continuing efforts on behalf of Kevin Jr. would be better spent in ways other than trying to blame someone else for his actions.
Until that time comes, I'm willing to give them space free of condemnation, allowing for their grief to surface and subside.
UPDATE: The Ward Family is now seeking to depose not only Stewart, but Stewart's Crew Chief and others in a wrongful death lawsuit brought against Tony Stewart a year following the death. Stewart's attorney's are asking for time to let him recover from surgery, before he is deposed.
It's now been 18 months since the race in which Kevin Ward Jr. died on the track. The mourning for Ward by his family seems to have given way to vengeance as they pursue this lawsuit. The Ward's have begun to partially accept their son's responsibility for his role, with his Mother telling Good Morning America, "I wish he wouldn't have gotten out of the car, more than anybody," Pamela Ward said. "But I also acknowledge the fact that if Tony would have stayed low on the track and not gunned his engine and headed for my son, my son would still be here."
Every knowledgable race driver I've talked to, and most fans (those who hate Stewart notwithstanding) tell me that the reason Kevin Ward Jr. is dead is because he exited his vehicle while still on the track. Anything that transpired after the decision directly relates back to his leaving his vehicle. Fans see it, the Grand Jury saw it, and my hope is that the Wards will find the ability to accept their son's death as no one else's responsibility but his own. If they can't do that, as a family, before they lose this frivolous lawsuit, I fear they will be never be able to live another happy moment together.