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Why the Stewart/Ward incident doesn't make sense

Illustration for article titled Why the Stewart/Ward incident doesnt make sense

Today I got called out by the commentariat for making some 'brash' comments regarding the accident that occurred between Stewart and Ward. I was even accused of being an "armchair commenter". Which, if I'm not mistaken, is exactly what a jury, a judge and a lawyer are as well, once all facts are presented to them. Call me out, fine. But that doesn't explain why there are still more questions than there are answers.


Having only driven on the dirt a couple times at a high rate of speed, with machines utilizing a limited slip differential, I based Stewart's driving actions off of what I'd do had I been in the same seat. Confronted with a situation of this magnitude, I (personally) would have snap throttle over steered towards the wreck. This is my choice. But then again, had I have been in Stewart's shoes (which I wouldn't have allowed myself to be in), there would still be a lot of unanswered questions:

1. Why would I have been so high up in angle through the corner in the first place?


2. Why would I have been speeding through the corner during a regulated yellow flag? And at 40-50mph (Tony's estimated speed), would it really have been that difficult to notice a man with a bright red and white horizontal pinstripe on his suit and car in a (claimed to be, more on that later) poorly lit area?

3. Why would I have not taken the yellow flag opportunity to slow down and tear off my visor strip, instead of gunning the car around like a hot shot?


4. People claim he could not have seen Ward until the last minute due to tunnel vision or lighting. How is this possible when the lighting is good enough to take video in and the track is well lit enough through that corner to allow for continuous racing? Surely they wouldn't allow for racing in pitch darkness...? And why would I have "tunnel vision" on a yellow flag when I should be slowing down?

5. Experienced Sprint drivers claim that there is only one person in contact with Tony at all times. So you're telling me this person didn't inform Tony of the yellow flag (which is his job), the very idea of which is to take caution while driving? If not, then the fault of the accident could partially be put onto this individual as well.


6. It was argued that Tony couldn't see in front of him because of a multitude of reasons. Had he slowed down (which a yellow flag is brought out to impose) perhaps he would have, don't you think? Isn't the act of following the rules of a race, especially under caution, extremely important safety-wise?

The very fact that these questions exist without answers that are purely speculative is in and of itself damning of the situation at hand. Stewart could have chosen to follow the rules of the yellow and maintain a deep turn towards the apex at a lower speed like all the other drivers. Instead, he chose not to, which in turn killed Ward, who was most definitely an idiot himself for getting out of his car on an open track in the first place. Why he didn't follow the proper steps of precaution we will never know. But it is obvious that he didn't do it.


When all the precautions aren't made to avoid such an accident and crime from occurring, this is known as being "Criminally negligent". When all the lack of precautions lead up to the death of an individual, it's called "Criminally negligent manslaughter".

Now, I may be an "armchair commenter" from time to time (especially, I will admit, in this situation) but at least I have the where-with-all to ask serious questions that will be asked later on in court, which I would expect Stewart will be standing in front of, unless he buys his way out of it.


Either way, when the math doesn't quite add up, you know something is amiss.

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