By AMANDA VINCENT
On Friday, Tony Stewart’s attorney, Brian Gwitt, submitted a response to the wrongful death civil lawsuit filed against Stewart by the parents of Kevin Ward Jr. on Aug. 7, stemming from the death of Ward after being struck by Stewart’s car during a sprint car race at Canandaigua (N.Y.) Motorsports Park on Aug. 9, 2014.
After wrecking, Ward climbed from his car as other cars made laps at caution speed. He approached Stewart’s car on foot and was struck by one of the left wheels of Stewart’s car. Toxicology reports showed that Ward was under the influence of marijuana.
In their lawsuit, Ward’s parents accuse Stewart of gross negligence, contending that he gunned his engine and skidded into their son.
According to the response submitted on Stewart’s behalf, Stewart didn’t see Ward on the track until just before his car hit him and didn’t know that anyone was out of their car on the race treack. It went on to say that Stewart didn’t even know there was a crash, because it happened behind him.
“Stewart was not aware that anyone had exited their vehicle,” Gwitt’s submitted response read.
The statement also mentioned that Ward was under the influence of marijuana and shouldn’t have climbed out of his car.
Also mentioned in Stewart’s response was the responsibility waiver signed by all competitors the day of the race.
“With the Aug. 9 release, Ward Jr. expressly assumed full responsibility for any risk of death arising out of the event, acknowledged that the activities of the race were very dangerous, and unconditionally released all liabilityon the part of, among others, other race participants and drivers.”
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