Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

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


  • Please log in to reply
1227 replies to this topic

#1201 Humbug

Humbug
  • Member

  • 63 posts
  • Joined: July 14

Posted 12 August 2015 - 09:52

Knowing the extreme lengths posters on this forum can reach to blame a driver in an incident I wouldn't put much stock in that. See any discussion of any collision involving a world champion for the past 30 years.

 

As far as I can remember the only footage of the crash was taken from the other side of the track and no conclusions at all could be drawn about lines and throttle use.

Your right about that.

 

But I hope people on this forum will never be in the situation as the Ward family is. They have the right to do what they do. We do not know the information they have, do not know what they saw en heard.

For us it is easy to judge them and be hard (wishing them poverty and calling them ash-holes) on them. For me it is a bridge too far though.



Advertisement

#1202 Dan333SP

Dan333SP
  • Member

  • 1,333 posts
  • Joined: March 10

Posted 12 August 2015 - 13:38

As someone else explained in this thread, if the suit ever reaches a civil jury trial then they'd be looking at comparative negligence and there is a chance that a jury would find Tony to be at fault by some tiny percentage and he would have to pay damages based on that percent of fault. I think settling is his better option because of the media attention that a ruling for even 1% fault on Stewart would generate. I live in Virginia, where the courts operate under the doctrine of pure contributory negligence where if the injured party is even 1% at fault, they cannot recover anything. It'll be interesting from a legal perspective to see how this plays out, I'm not sure that one system is better than the other because there will always be mitigating circumstances favoring either doctrine.



#1203 AustinF1

AustinF1
  • Member

  • 4,026 posts
  • Joined: November 10

Posted 12 August 2015 - 15:52

In that, excellent, context, you do wonder how they hope to prove anything.

F1 stewards sometimes fail to reach conclusions even with the most comprehensive telemetry in racing at their disposal.

How do they expect a court to reach a conclusion on a race series that, I suspect, has very limited data on such as throttle traces and traction data.

Even if they can show a spike on the rev counter, good luck proving it wasn't just the car breaking traction on the dirt or because of Stewart attempting avoiding action.

Dear me, what a situation...

Indeed. It's not even discernible in the video which car the engine rev noise is coming from...and it seems their case hinges on that bit of info. 

 

Seems they've been ill advised and have chosen poorly.



#1204 AustinF1

AustinF1
  • Member

  • 4,026 posts
  • Joined: November 10

Posted 12 August 2015 - 15:56

As someone else explained in this thread, if the suit ever reaches a civil jury trial then they'd be looking at comparative negligence and there is a chance that a jury would find Tony to be at fault by some tiny percentage and he would have to pay damages based on that percent of fault. I think settling is his better option because of the media attention that a ruling for even 1% fault on Stewart would generate. I live in Virginia, where the courts operate under the doctrine of pure contributory negligence where if the injured party is even 1% at fault, they cannot recover anything. It'll be interesting from a legal perspective to see how this plays out, I'm not sure that one system is better than the other because there will always be mitigating circumstances favoring either doctrine.

I don't know about the laws in this case, but that makes a lot of sense to me, at least in this instance. If KW had stayed in his car or gotten immediately out and over the wall, then it wouldn't have mattered at all what TS or any other driver might have done. 



#1205 Jim Thurman

Jim Thurman
  • Member

  • 4,354 posts
  • Joined: February 01

Posted 12 August 2015 - 15:56

The one thing I can't help but wonder is what the reaction(s) would be were the roles in this completely reversed. What if it had been Stewart who ran out on the track in a rage and struck by Ward's car?

 

I can't help but feel there would not be some of the extreme attempts at complete vindication, let alone the bilious comments.

 

Actually, I'm sure there would still be the bilious comments, but I doubt the "sides" would have changed.



#1206 paulogman

paulogman
  • Member

  • 2,179 posts
  • Joined: June 03

Posted 12 August 2015 - 15:59

Sure the comments here would be biased either way, but I still think the investigation would have come to the same conclusion if Tony Stewart had the same level of thc in his system and was wearing a black driver's suit and helmet.

Edited by paulogman, 12 August 2015 - 16:00.


#1207 AustinF1

AustinF1
  • Member

  • 4,026 posts
  • Joined: November 10

Posted 12 August 2015 - 16:01

The one thing I can't help but wonder is what the reaction(s) would be were the roles in this completely reversed. What if it had been Stewart who ran out on the track in a rage and struck by Ward's car?

 

I can't help but feel there would not be some of the extreme attempts at complete vindication, let alone the bilious comments.

 

Actually, I'm sure there would still be the bilious comments, but I doubt the "sides" would have changed.

Well, I for one have no reason to defend TS or go after KW. I'm not a fan of TS. I'm just looking at what happened and calling it that way. I'm not sure what you mean by "extreme attempts at complete vindication". At least on my part, there were attempts to dig for the truth in the face of many people jumping to rather silly conclusions.



#1208 ensign14

ensign14
  • Member

  • 39,014 posts
  • Joined: December 01

Posted 12 August 2015 - 16:19

I don't know about the laws in this case, but that makes a lot of sense to me, at least in this instance. If KW had stayed in his car or gotten immediately out and over the wall, then it wouldn't have mattered at all what TS or any other driver might have done. 

 

The problem with that contrib neg doctrine is e.g. you are doing 60 in a 55 limit, when suddenly an artic crosses onto your side of the road and head-on squishes you.  You are in a wheelchair for the rest of your life.  The accident is 95% the lorry driver's fault, 5% yours.

 

So you get zero damages? 



#1209 AustinF1

AustinF1
  • Member

  • 4,026 posts
  • Joined: November 10

Posted 12 August 2015 - 16:32

The problem with that contrib neg doctrine is e.g. you are doing 60 in a 55 limit, when suddenly an artic crosses onto your side of the road and head-on squishes you.  You are in a wheelchair for the rest of your life.  The accident is 95% the lorry driver's fault, 5% yours.

 

So you get zero damages? 

No, I get that it has limitations. But in this case, if KW doesn't put himself out there in the 'line of fire', there's no way he gets killed by a race car on the track that night. In the other scenario, if the driver is driving the limit, then he likely still gets hit and ends up in a wheelchair.

 

% blame may not be the best way to put it there. More like one link in a chain of events. If that link is changed or just doesn't exist, then the chain of events is completely altered moving forward..


Edited by AustinF1, 12 August 2015 - 17:41.


#1210 MPea3

MPea3
  • Member

  • 2,151 posts
  • Joined: July 01

Posted 12 August 2015 - 17:16

Assuming TS has some sort of personal liability insurance, and it's hard to imagine he doesn't, then his legal defense is handled not by him but rather his insurance company. If it goes to trial, then it's a total crapped shoot as to what can happen, so this is something that neither side will want.

As an example, an off duty policeman riding his own personal motorcycle was hit by a car. The driver of the car was cited for being at fault and was found guilty in that case. The policeman was permanently disabled and forced to retire at the age of 27. He filed suit against the lady that hit him and was awarded only his medical costs, with no damages at all for either his pain and suffering or his lost capacity to work going forward. According to a member of the jury, they agreed with the theory put forward by the defense attorney that the policeman should have know that there is an inherent risk in riding and by doing so accepted that risk.

For an insurance company who would defend TS it's a business decision and nothing else. If they can pay a settlement to the family which will be cheaper than defending the suit, they'll do so. However, their deep pockets include the ability to attorney up to a degree which the Ward family cannot. The Ward family's attorney will know this as well, and get as much as he possibly can without rolling the dice at trial. Should the Ward family insist on pushing it all the way to trial, they may find themselves needing a new attorney. US attorneys rarely enjoy putting in hundreds of hours of work to be paid 40% of an insignificant amount.

#1211 Imperial

Imperial
  • Member

  • 3,055 posts
  • Joined: February 02

Posted 12 August 2015 - 17:36

I'm fairly certain the de Villota family have an open case against Marussia/Manor (delete as appropriate), which my (completely unqualified) opinion of is that it is presumably possibly just a means to satisfy an insurance clause.

I suppose it stands to reason that no payout would ever take place unless all options had first been exhausted. Perhaps the Ward family are merely going through the motions of 'Well, we tried in court...' before anyone will pay out to them. They may know full well they have no chance in this case, but are compelled to instigate it.

We may already know this stuff if any motorsport journalists bothered being journalists for just one day.

#1212 Dan333SP

Dan333SP
  • Member

  • 1,333 posts
  • Joined: March 10

Posted 12 August 2015 - 17:52

No, I get that it has limitations. But in this case, if KW doesn't put himself out there in the 'line of fire', there's no way he gets killed by a race car on the track that night. In the other scenario, if the driver is driving the limit, then he likely still gets hit and ends up in a wheelchair.

 

% blame may not be the best way to put it there. More like one link in a chain of events. If that link is changed or just doesn't exist, then the chain of events is completely altered moving forward..

 

Right, I get what you're saying. Some places use a modified comparative negligence doctrine whereby an injured party can only recover if their portion of responsibility is below that of the party being sued. That makes sense to me, more so than the other two schools of thought at least.

 

Like I said, I live in VA and we are pure contributory negligence. I also cycle all the time on all sorts of public roads. The law in VA requires that cyclists have functional head and tail lights while on the road before dawn and after sunset. There have been times when I had a rear blinky light on my bike, but got stuck with a flat tire or whatever and got home after dark without a headlight.

 

If some inattentive driver were to rear-end me and put me in a hospital bed for the next 6 months, I wouldn't have any grounds to recover from him in civil court for damages because technically I'd be breaking the law by having no headlight, even though that had nothing to do with the accident. Scary thought.

 

I could/would go after his insurance, though, which is a separate matter. It obviously gets messy.



#1213 pdac

pdac
  • Member

  • 1,987 posts
  • Joined: February 10

Posted 12 August 2015 - 18:36

The one thing I can't help but wonder is what the reaction(s) would be were the roles in this completely reversed. What if it had been Stewart who ran out on the track in a rage and struck by Ward's car?

 

I can't help but feel there would not be some of the extreme attempts at complete vindication, let alone the bilious comments.

 

Actually, I'm sure there would still be the bilious comments, but I doubt the "sides" would have changed.

 

 

Actually, I don't follow this sport and had barely heard of these two before this. I have no reason to be biased toward one or the other. However, I feel  that, regardless of whether TS struck Ward by accident or was somehow directed his car toward him deliberately, for me a large proportion still must be attributed to Ward.

 

In my opinion, to walk onto a race track when cars are running is not just plain stupid, but is risking your life and the lives of others too. The Ward family should reflect on that.


Edited by pdac, 12 August 2015 - 18:37.


#1214 loki

loki
  • Member

  • 2,695 posts
  • Joined: May 02

Posted 12 August 2015 - 19:36

Assuming TS has some sort of personal liability insurance, and it's hard to imagine he doesn't, then his legal defense is handled not by him but rather his insurance company. If it goes to trial, then it's a total crapped shoot as to what can happen, so this is something that neither side will want.

As an example, an off duty policeman riding his own personal motorcycle was hit by a car. The driver of the car was cited for being at fault and was found guilty in that case. The policeman was permanently disabled and forced to retire at the age of 27. He filed suit against the lady that hit him and was awarded only his medical costs, with no damages at all for either his pain and suffering or his lost capacity to work going forward. According to a member of the jury, they agreed with the theory put forward by the defense attorney that the policeman should have know that there is an inherent risk in riding and by doing so accepted that risk.

For an insurance company who would defend TS it's a business decision and nothing else. If they can pay a settlement to the family which will be cheaper than defending the suit, they'll do so. However, their deep pockets include the ability to attorney up to a degree which the Ward family cannot. The Ward family's attorney will know this as well, and get as much as he possibly can without rolling the dice at trial. Should the Ward family insist on pushing it all the way to trial, they may find themselves needing a new attorney. US attorneys rarely enjoy putting in hundreds of hours of work to be paid 40% of an insignificant amount.

 

The firm that is representing the Wards have a well established and successful history in court with wrongful death cases such as this.  They have a track record of taking cases to a jury and being awarded substantial settlements.  They wouldn't have taken the case unless they thought they could get a settlement worth the time and resources.



#1215 arebin

arebin
  • New Member

  • 28 posts
  • Joined: April 14

Posted 13 August 2015 - 02:39

Bob Pockrass at ESPN posted this article a few hours ago.

http://espn.go.com/r...it-tony-stewart

#1216 Humbug

Humbug
  • Member

  • 63 posts
  • Joined: July 14

Posted 13 August 2015 - 06:54

Bob Pockrass at ESPN posted this article a few hours ago.

http://espn.go.com/r...it-tony-stewart

Good article! Gives a good picture about the situation. Thanks.



#1217 ensign14

ensign14
  • Member

  • 39,014 posts
  • Joined: December 01

Posted 13 August 2015 - 06:54

No, I get that it has limitations. But in this case, if KW doesn't put himself out there in the 'line of fire', there's no way he gets killed by a race car on the track that night. In the other scenario, if the driver is driving the limit, then he likely still gets hit and ends up in a wheelchair.

 

But if Ward were not driving at all he would not have been killed.  It's a mix of legal causation and contributory negligence.  The problem Stewart will have is res ipsa loquitur - nobody else hit Ward and he did.  After he may have gone slightly off line.  It would not be that difficult to put forward a case that Ward would have known where it was safe to stand and could not have foreseen Stewart's slight wiggle.

 

As an example, an off duty policeman riding his own personal motorcycle was hit by a car. The driver of the car was cited for being at fault and was found guilty in that case. The policeman was permanently disabled and forced to retire at the age of 27. He filed suit against the lady that hit him and was awarded only his medical costs, with no damages at all for either his pain and suffering or his lost capacity to work going forward. According to a member of the jury, they agreed with the theory put forward by the defense attorney that the policeman should have know that there is an inherent risk in riding and by doing so accepted that risk.
 

 

That is beyond appalling and as a decision would take about two seconds for a competent judge to sling it out.  And bar everyone on the jury from ever making any decisions on anything ever again. 

 

But I would like some sort of reference for that.  Because the jury have made a decision there based on law (acceptance of risk is a legal point).  They are not qualified to do that.  Indeed, given their decision on that, they are not qualified to breathe.

 


If some inattentive driver were to rear-end me and put me in a hospital bed for the next 6 months, I wouldn't have any grounds to recover from him in civil court for damages because technically I'd be breaking the law by having no headlight, even though that had nothing to do with the accident. Scary thought.

 

That ought to be a different case, as if you were rear-ended, not having a front light would not have had any effect on the accident.  So there would be no contrib.  Like running out in the road right into a drunk driver.  If a sober driver would have hit you anyway, the fact that the driver was drunk would not get you damages.  (He might be prosecuted for drink-driving, but not for the accident.)

 

But as I said before.  American law.  I have never had a positive experience dealing with it.



#1218 Dan333SP

Dan333SP
  • Member

  • 1,333 posts
  • Joined: March 10

Posted 13 August 2015 - 13:08


That ought to be a different case, as if you were rear-ended, not having a front light would not have had any effect on the accident.  So there would be no contrib.  Like running out in the road right into a drunk driver.  If a sober driver would have hit you anyway, the fact that the driver was drunk would not get you damages.  (He might be prosecuted for drink-driving, but not for the accident.)

 

But as I said before.  American law.  I have never had a positive experience dealing with it.

 

Technically, you're right, but having seen these things play out for other cyclist friends who were hit, juries are biased against people on bikes and all it takes is for a defense attorney to mention the law being broken with a headlight not in place and put up a series of other hypotheticals (How do we know his blinky was on when he was hit? How do we know he didn't suddenly swerve to the left to make a turn?) for a jury to assign a tiny portion of blame on the cyclist and bar recovery. I'm not an attorney but my wife is and just my 2nd hand experience of this country's legal system gives me indigestion.


Edited by Dan333SP, 13 August 2015 - 13:09.


#1219 Jimisgod

Jimisgod
  • Member

  • 3,981 posts
  • Joined: July 09

Posted 13 August 2015 - 18:04

Stewart should have been banned for life from all motorsport for repeated instances of deliberately wrecking people prior to this. However he is symptomatic of a stock car culture that just accepts willful carelessness in the name of entertainment. I have no doubt if they were two Indycar drivers out on the dirt that day no one would have died like this.



Advertisement

#1220 arebin

arebin
  • New Member

  • 28 posts
  • Joined: April 14

Posted 13 August 2015 - 18:42

You don't watch enough Indycar.

#1221 Jim Thurman

Jim Thurman
  • Member

  • 4,354 posts
  • Joined: February 01

Posted 13 August 2015 - 20:08

Stewart should have been banned for life from all motorsport for repeated instances of deliberately wrecking people prior to this. However he is symptomatic of a stock car culture that just accepts willful carelessness in the name of entertainment. I have no doubt if they were two Indycar drivers out on the dirt that day no one would have died like this.

 

This will either be removed or you'll face the wrath of God, but just for the record, Stewart was like that well before he got in a stock car. He did it in his open wheel short track days as well. So, I don't think stock car (or NASCAR) culture can be blamed for his temperment. Though likely it won't stop some from making that claim.

 

The real irony is the number of times Stewart himself left his car and walked on track to confront a driver he felt had wronged him.



#1222 scheivlak

scheivlak
  • Member

  • 12,530 posts
  • Joined: August 01

Posted 13 August 2015 - 20:30

Stewart should have been banned for life from all motorsport for repeated instances of deliberately wrecking people prior to this. However he is symptomatic of a stock car culture that just accepts willful carelessness in the name of entertainment. I have no doubt if they were two Indycar drivers out on the dirt that day no one would have died like this.

Just for the record: Tony Stewart was an Indycar (OK, IRL) driver as well.



#1223 ch103

ch103
  • Member

  • 985 posts
  • Joined: July 09

Posted 14 August 2015 - 00:40

No, I get that it has limitations. But in this case, if KW doesn't put himself out there in the 'line of fire', there's no way he gets killed by a race car on the track that night. In the other scenario, if the driver is driving the limit, then he likely still gets hit and ends up in a wheelchair.
 
% blame may not be the best way to put it there. More like one link in a chain of events. If that link is changed or just doesn't exist, then the chain of events is completely altered moving forward..

 
You are absolutely correct when you say this.  However, how many times in racing history have you seen two drivers clash on track, the driver who is eliminated walks over and waves a fist, or throws a helmet or does something to act out their disapproval?   In no case that I can remember, did one driver run over the other.

#1224 loki

loki
  • Member

  • 2,695 posts
  • Joined: May 02

Posted 14 August 2015 - 01:36

You are absolutely correct when you say this.  However, how many times in racing history have you seen two drivers clash on track, the driver who is eliminated walks over and waves a fist, or throws a helmet or does something to act out their disapproval?   In no case that I can remember, did one driver run over the other.

When drivers confront other drivers on track they generally don't run, under the influence, down into the racing line.
 
A grand jury diesagrees with your assessment that he belongs in prison.  It took them less than an hour to determine there was not evidence to charge him with anything.

#1225 Rurouni

Rurouni
  • Member

  • 601 posts
  • Joined: May 10

Posted 14 August 2015 - 03:47

You are absolutely correct when you say this.  However, how many times in racing history have you seen two drivers clash on track, the driver who is eliminated walks over and waves a fist, or throws a helmet or does something to act out their disapproval?   In no case that I can remember, did one driver run over the other.

As far as a driver going into the race track because they aren't happy, never.
Waves fist, throwing helmet, etc... maybe.
My racing series exposure are mostly from F1 and MotoGP though.

#1226 johnmhinds

johnmhinds
  • Member

  • 2,957 posts
  • Joined: July 09

Posted 14 August 2015 - 06:03

You are absolutely correct when you say this.  However, how many times in racing history have you seen two drivers clash on track, the driver who is eliminated walks over and waves a fist, or throws a helmet or does something to act out their disapproval?   In no case that I can remember, did one driver run over the other.

 
I've never seen it happen in UK stock cars, and i've been attending races for over 20 years, so maybe it's only a US stock car racing culture thing if as you say it happens a lot.
 
In every pre-race drivers meeting i've attended i've been told not to leave a crashed car until the marshals say it is safe for me to do so.
 
Getting mad and running out onto an active race track to attack another driver like this kid did is obviously insane.

#1227 Sash1

Sash1
  • Member

  • 406 posts
  • Joined: March 14

Posted 14 August 2015 - 07:33


There are quite a few incidents of people running on tracks getting (fatally) hit by drivers/cars where you'd think they have seen the runner but they didn't, in clear daylight. Open cockpit / clear vision tracks, motogp/motocross incidents, you name it. And the amount of shit that drivers hit under yellow and sc is also amazing. There are a lot of examples from the past why you don't go on a track in race conditions or with yellow flags and they can all be used as evidence. And in those situations the person on the track was not even deliberately moving towards a certain car.

#1228 Buttoneer

Buttoneer
  • RC Forum Admin

  • 17,634 posts
  • Joined: May 04

Posted 14 August 2015 - 09:01

I have edited some posts. Don't get mad.

In the event that one of the people involved decides to sue Autosport for publishing defamatory comments, we get closed down. I do not intend to allow that to happen. For that reason I am asking you to avoid outright accusations of impropriety or illegal behaviour. We will remove your post, and you if necessary, to protect this forum.

If you value this forum as much as we do, please ensure you report any user who ignores this.