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Kevin Ward dies after being run over by Tony Stewart's car during sprint race [update]


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#1151 Lazy

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Posted 25 September 2014 - 07:40

I'd be driving at about 17 mph if I smoked a bone before racing

Indeed, and if I crashed I would be sat in the car giggling, certainly not out on the track facing up to oncoming race cars.



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#1152 krumpli12

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Posted 25 September 2014 - 08:55

Common sense prevailed, I feel sad for Ward, but it would have been a great injustice to put Stewart through a criminal trial.



#1153 Knot

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Posted 25 September 2014 - 09:00

I'd be driving at about 17 mph if I smoked a bone before racing

 

I'd be driving 0.17 MPH and feeling like I was driving 1777 MPH if I did that.



#1154 Xpat

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Posted 25 September 2014 - 11:30

As I understand it marijuana can be detected in the system for weeks after use and the effects of the drug fade fairly quickly after use. I think hearing from the medical report that he had it in his system and making the jump to "he was stoned" when behind the wheel is a not a conclusion that can't be made.

 

I suspect TS will settle any civil litigation out of court (he'd probably win in court) for a generous sum because he wants to do something for the family. Having lived in Columbus IN for a few years and having family there you hear stories about TS and his behind the scenes generosity. 



#1155 Xpat

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Posted 25 September 2014 - 13:35

Never mind. Leap away:

 

 

 

At a news conference to announce that a grand jury had declined to indict Stewart in Ward's death, Tantillo said the level of marijuana in Ward's system was high enough to impair judgment.


#1156 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 25 September 2014 - 15:12

Is that a medical threshold? is it a defined threshold? I mean. Not enough sleep and my judgement is impaired. It doesn't mean I'm too drowsy to drive.

 

I'm hardly up on my drug culture but if the guy was actually 'high' I just don't see the road rage coming into it.



#1157 Xpat

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Posted 25 September 2014 - 16:20

It would be more likely that he wrecked, sat in the car and giggled about it, ate Doritos.

 

That's is what happened with people who were high in college anyway.



#1158 ExFlagMan

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Posted 25 September 2014 - 16:28

What happens when you come out of the 'chilled' state? Do all the suppressed emotions/feelings emerge in a rush. Only ever having partaken in weed via 'passive smoking' I have no idea.

#1159 AustinF1

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Posted 25 September 2014 - 16:40

For all of you wanting to know the effect of Marijuana use in this case, I'd say we just don't know enough to say one way or the other.

 

- Any drug affects different people in different ways

- We don't know how much or how often Ward used the drug

- We know nothing of Ward's medical history or other drugs he may have been on, even via prescription

 

There are a lot of variables



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#1160 Andrew Hope

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Posted 25 September 2014 - 16:41

As Xpat pointed out, weed "in your system" doesn't necessarily mean anything. If you ate a hotdog Tuesday you likely still have mustard, relish and dirty old hot dog water in your system, but it doesn't mean that is having any effect on what's happening right now. Like any boring citizen I don't smoke and drive but having rode shotgun with many people who don't feel as responsible for the safety of other motorists as I do I can add that on the extremely off chance that Ward didn't simply burn one down a week and a half earlier, and somehow was actually still a little stoned during the race he died, in fairness that does explain a little bit of his brazeness because that's exactly what I've seen out of people behind the wheel on the streets, making immediate poor decisions to yell or honk the horn and then half a second later trying to shrink down to invisibility in the driver's seat. I'm not sure if I really buy it, though: how many sports have we seen people outed as druggies because they tested positive for something and the overwhelmingly-likely explanation was that they smoked a joint two weeks earlier the effects of said joint wore off one week, six days and 21 hours earlier. There's no question mark at the end of that sentence because it's not really a question.

 

What happens when you come out of the 'chilled' state? Do all the suppressed emotions/feelings emerge in a rush. Only ever having partaken in weed via 'passive smoking' I have no idea.

It only suppresses feelings for some people, and that's a minority, or else you willfully suppress any outward signs that you're trying to enjoy your day (such as when smoking up before work) for fear of getting in shit, rather than as any kind of side-effect. Most of the people I've ever smoked with can hide this fact with a little self-control and a little more cologne, but this veneer evaporates as soon as you're out of any kind of danger zone (parents, bosses, wife, perhaps all three). Speaking only for myself the come up is just a pleasant feeling mixed with very mild disappointment that it all couldn't have lasted longer, and occasionally bitter regret that you didn't make a batch of cookies instead because it really is so much better when you eat it instead.



#1161 loki

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Posted 25 September 2014 - 17:34

For high functioning users the drug can stay in the system for a few months after they stop.  If they are currently using there is a high amount in the body though as noted above the level of impairment varies per individual.  That said it's still not possible to determine with certainty the level in which impairment is thought to begin.  That is one of the issues they are having in states that have legalized recreational use of the drug.  Unlike alcohol there isn't yet any defined standard of impairment. That said, a high concentration of THC doesn't necessarily mean he was under the influence at the time but smokes with enough frequency to have a sustained level in the system.  Long term  frequent use in and of itself does impact one's behavoir and life though it's different in different people.  Mood swings in particular are possible.  For someone that is accustomed to smoking all the time being without the drug for an extended period can agitate them.

 

The toxicology at this point can't definitively determine when it was last smoked/ingested only the quantity present.  A habitual user would have a significant amount in the system.  When you are alive they can interview you, observe you and give cognitive and motor skills tests.   To my knowledge it's not possible to tell post mortem if that amount was recent, as in hours or the built up over a period of time. 



#1162 427MkIV

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Posted 25 September 2014 - 19:08

According to a police officer on another board, there's rigorous training to be qualified and certified to state what level of marijuana leads to what level of impairment. It's not a guess or approximation.

 

Also, testing for the substance in the blood is a lot more precise and gives a lot more information than a urine test.



#1163 loki

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Posted 25 September 2014 - 20:55

According to a police officer on another board, there's rigorous training to be qualified and certified to state what level of marijuana leads to what level of impairment. It's not a guess or approximation.

 

Also, testing for the substance in the blood is a lot more precise and gives a lot more information than a urine test.

There is no accepted standard for THC impairment.  For example in the US for alochol the accepted standard is .08% BAC.  There is no such standard for THC.  The quantity can be measured but it's not possible to tell within a time frame what the level of impairment was at that given time.  For example if someone consumed 3-4 grams day you are going to have a considerable amount of THC in your blood regardless of if you had consumed any within the previous 24 hour period.  You may not be impaired but there will still be a high level of THC in the body.

 

This is from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's guidance on drugs... (emphasis mine) http://www.nhtsa.gov...gs/cannabis.htm

 

It is inadvisable to try and predict effects based on blood THC concentrations alone, and currently impossible to predict specific effects based on THC-COOH concentrations. It is possible for a person to be affected by marijuana use with concentrations of THC in their blood below the limit of detection of the method. Mathematical models have been developed to estimate the time of marijuana exposure within a 95% confidence interval. Knowing the elapsed time from marijuana exposure can then be used to predict impairment in concurrent cognitive and psychomotor effects based on data in the published literature.

 

What is they do is model based on a known time of ingestion as they have been able to pattern the peaks of the THC.  If one does not have the time of ingestion the model is not accurate.  Even then, there is still no universally accepted standard.  The evidence on the causes of accidents resulting in injury or death from marijuana consumption is far from decisive and clear.  Some research indicates that because it is different than alcohol, the user is more careful and can accommodate the changes in order to minimize the impairment.  Speaking from first had experience that could be true in some cases but other ways of impairing the driver could be just as dangerous as alcohol.  The National Organization for the Reform of Mariujana Laws (NORML) has posted something that references various studies but I think it's far from conclusive in proving pot is safer to drive on than alcohol.   http://norml.org/lib...ntific-evidence

 

The substance abuse program at the University of Washington stated that such studies lacked a structure that would lead to valid conclusions based on the sample size and the way the data was gathered.  Listed at the bottom of the page in the conclusions and limitations paragraph.  http://learnaboutmar...ets/driving.htm

 

In another study from the National Institutes of Health only 30% of habitual users with a high concentration of THC failed a field sobriety test.http://www.ncbi.nlm....les/PMC3456923/

 

Here's an NYT piece on the effects of marijuana on driving with links to more research.  http://www.nytimes.c...juana.html?_r=0

 

What this means is the evidence and threshold for impairment varies and at this point there is no one way to determine with certainly that any level of THC in the body leads to impairment. That is not to say that it doesn't, it does but at this point there is no metric to determine how impaired someone might be as there is with alcohol.



#1164 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 25 September 2014 - 22:50

While in no way condoning Wards use of THC the question is was he affected. Or purely had a bit in his system? 

Here in Oz it is/was the rule of no alcohol consumption 12 hours before an event which has been broken by a lot of competitors. 90% though have only had a beer or two with lunch. But it means the same thing. Though one competitor I know was drinking 2 hours before, and won the feature that night. Never to be condoned though!



#1165 jonpollak

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Posted 25 September 2014 - 23:27

Not that i condone inebriation of any sorts before taking part in some motorised sport/ any sport/ driving after on public roads... but what series is it that you would do 17 mph? I would think tick-over itself will be getting you to fairly decent speeds.

 


I'm guessing you've never smoked grass. My post was more about the effects of pot on your perception of speed than any actual driving event.

#1166 whitewaterMkII

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Posted 26 September 2014 - 06:35

 

 

What this means is the evidence and threshold for impairment varies and at this point there is no one way to determine with certainly that any level of THC in the body leads to impairment. That is not to say that it doesn't, it does but at this point there is no metric to determine how impaired someone might be as there is with alcohol.

 

What I get from this is that it is difficult, if not impossible to determine how impaired you may be. From extensive experimentation as a SoCal I've determined that high quality NoCal bud is far more potent that Mexican bud. Two hits of Humboldt sinsemilla is far more effective than a fatty of sticks and stones from Mexicali. The level of 'impairment' is different as well. THC levels vary as widely as do the effects of an oz. of Budweiser vs. Kessler. If the levels of THC were high in Ward's blood, whether from chronic use, or use a mere hour or so before racing, he was impaired. As to whether that affected his judgement post crash, and how so, there is no way to know. Just as Kessler affects some people different ways. In my case, being half Mexican, with more than likely a healthy dose of Indian blood somewhere in the past, if I drank hard alcohol I turned pretty nasty, I was always acting pretty aggressively when I drank Tequila or Gin, so I stopped drinking that stuff at about 25 yo and have stuck to beer since then and I'm fine. IMO, there needs to be a lot more work done on Marijuana use, and even though I'd rarely turn down a hit or two, I think that before it is made legal, there should be a way to measure impairment by officers, and tests done to determine at what level impairment is deemed unsafe to drive at. 

It's pretty easy to determine that 2 shots of booze or two beers within an hour of getting behind the wheel is not a good idea, at this point however it is undetermined how many hits of hash, pot or cookies renders you unable to drive, and worst of all, there is no labeling on these legal in Colorado products to say how potent they are. 

I doubt we will ever see what the exact level of THC was in Ward's blood at the time of his death, and until future studies are made, it will be impossible to determine his level of impairment.

Whatever the case may be, it is still a tragic incident for all involved, and regardless of whether TS has been absolved in the courts of law, it will forever weigh heavily on him.



#1167 Sash1

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Posted 26 September 2014 - 07:53

There are also some saliva testers that can show if several drugs were used within the last 8 to 14 hours before the test (THC is no longer in saliva after max 14 hours). In addition to blood and urine tests that show structural use. These are also used to pull suspect users off the road by police forces in Europe. In for example Germany they use a saliva test when they pull you over. If that is positive they take you in and run a bloodtest. That bloodtest gives a result and shows levels of active THC and the inactive THCCOOH (THC becomes THCCOOH). Medical and forensic experts have developed formulas and decided which balance between THC and THC00H is decisive for not being able to drive a car without being impaired. A little explanation: here  Above a certain level, if you are a one time user or structural user does not matter, you will be fined and loose your license. I believe that they use the same measures as for drink&drive.

 

Dutch police also look at acute levels of THC after using. They claim that you can have 3,0 mg/L THC in your blood to be allowed to drive. Just after using the level will be 70mg/L. It takes 2 to 3 hours to get below 3 again. Structural users will have a level that is almost always above 3, even if they did not use in the few hours before. But for the law that does not matter. High level = no driving. 

 

The WADA (world anti doping agency) uses a treshold of 0,15 mg/L  (150 ng/ml) for athletesThe FIA uses the WADA doping lists and tresholds. So a driver in any FIA championship at any time (the time of the test) can only have a level of 0,15 mg/l or he/she will be sanctioned by the FIA. I know this race was not in any way FIA related.

 

I am not going to put any judgement whatsoever on this situation, besided that officials can measure a lot (the level in the blood, the last use within 14 hours through saliva, calculations for impairment) and that there are internationally used standards, including the FIA supported vision of WADA that THC is a performance enhancing drug - stress reduced - which should not be used by any serious athlete.


Edited by Sash1, 26 September 2014 - 07:55.


#1168 OvDrone

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Posted 26 September 2014 - 08:59

I'm just glad shit got cleared up, finally.

 

And about drug use? I'll just agree with what Xpat and the others said.



#1169 Rinehart

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Posted 26 September 2014 - 10:09

For all of you wanting to know the effect of Marijuana use in this case, I'd say we just don't know enough to say one way or the other.

 

Well, that didn't stop the internet prosecutors making their definitive accusations before ANY facts about Wards drug habits were known...

 

The poor fella made a series of *poor choices, it seems, whilst TS seems entirely blameless. I think there is a lot of unjustified hatred being directed towards TS.

 

(*I'm not saying smoking dope is a bad choice generally, but perhaps an illogical one for a sportsman)..



#1170 ensign14

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Posted 26 September 2014 - 10:43

Well, that didn't stop the internet prosecutors making their definitive accusations before ANY facts about Wards drug habits were known...

 

 

It actually doesn't matter as far as mens rea is concerned.  If Stewart were reckless/malicious, Ward could have been stewed to the gills on crack and it would still have been criminal. 

 

It will be important in civil proceedings as far as contrib or liability is concerned, but for crime it's what was going on in Stewart's mind, not Ward's, that matters.



#1171 skid solo

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Posted 26 September 2014 - 14:14

It actually doesn't matter as far as mens rea is concerned. If Stewart were reckless/malicious, Ward could have been stewed to the gills on crack and it would still have been criminal.

It will be important in civil proceedings as far as contrib or liability is concerned, but for crime it's what was going on in Stewart's mind, not Ward's, that matters.

If it had been Stewart who had THC in his system he would have had the book thrown at him regardless of whether his intent had been malicious or not. A driver on the public roads is culpable if he has levels of alcohol in his system deemed to impair judgement by the powers that be. Anyone who climbs into a race car with an alcohol limit that impairs judgement is irresponsible. Same goes for THC.
We cannot forget a young man died needlessly but to try and justify driving a race car after smoking Pot is ridiculous.

Edited by skid solo, 26 September 2014 - 14:16.


#1172 ensign14

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Posted 26 September 2014 - 14:31

Yes, because the driver with stuff in his system is deemed to be reckless by taking it before going on track.  But that's not the issue here.

 

If Driver A is breaking the speed limit, and runs over Pedestrian B, who suddenly and unexpectedly lurches into the road drunk, Driver A has still broken the law.  Even if the accident is entirely Pedestrian B's fault.

 

Obviously the grand jury here has decided there are insufficient grounds for prosecution against Stewart - which means he didn't gun it or aim at Ward.  Had he done so, it doesn't matter what Ward had taken.



#1173 Nemo1965

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Posted 26 September 2014 - 17:08

A question. There was this 'theses' that Ward did not try to jump in front of or close to Stewart's car but that he tried to jump on the side, to hitch a ride and then confront Stewart. Which, for me, would put at least an shred of reason in his behaviour. Is this a completely made-up idea or is it perhaps feasible?