The autopsy findings were released for Kevin Ward today and they basically reveal what was already known. The findings are released as the debate on what really happened on that track heats up today. There are two camps offering polarized theories of what happened on Saturday night that led to Ward's death on the track, but it is the responsibility of the police to sort this out. Now that they've obtained a second video that filmed the crash from a different angle, their job might be easier.
The coroner released the findings for Ward's cause of death, saying that he died of "blunt force trauma." This is reported by "Fox and Friends" live on Tuesday morning Aug. 12. This comes at a time when accusations that Stewart intentionally hit Ward on the track are buzzing in the media from friends and fans of the young victim.
According to International Business Times on Aug 12., the Ward family has asked for time to "wrap their heads around" what has happened and they've thanked everyone for their prayers and condolences over losing Kevin. It was Ward's aunt and close friend who took to the media to lash out at Stewart.
Tyler Graves, who is a fellow race car driver and a close friend of Ward was in the stands and witnessed Ward’s death. His take on the incident is that Stewart should face criminal charges for his actions. “Tony Stewart needs to be put in prison for life,” he said.
While many reported hearing Stewart hit the car's throttle, some thought this was a last ditch effort on Stewart's part to get swerve and avoid Ward. Drivers report hitting the throttle the way that Stewart did is often a tactic used to have the car swerve sideways, even if it makes the car go faster at the time. Those defending Stewart's move thought that he was hoping to swerve the car sideways enough to miss Ward.
Others see at as Stewart speeding up, possibly to scare Ward, and because of this Stewart he hit him, even if he didn't mean to do hit him. Graves said:
“I know Tony could see him. I know how you can see out of these cars. When Tony got close to him, he hit the throttle. When you hit a throttle on a sprint car, the car sets sideways. It set sideways, the right rear tire hit Kevin, Kevin was sucked underneath and was stuck under it for a second or two and then it threw him about 50 yards,” he said.
To be fair, Ward did exit his vehicle and walk out onto the race track and you can see by the now notorious video that the first car that happened upon Ward had to swerve to miss him. Then you see Ward in the path of Stewart's car and he is yelling and pointing his finger in a mode that appears to be rage. Ward is dressed all in black and it is dark out, so when did Stewart actually see Ward? This is the way that Brian Kilmeade of "Fox and Friends" conveys the accident.
NewsOxy reports that the Ward family blames Tony Stewart's aggressive driving for their son no longer being on this Earth. His Aunt's Facebook post calls Stewart a "di*k" and she thanks him sarcastically for doing this to her family. Her post says:
"I feel numb, I look into the eyes of family and see a deep hurt that should not be there, my heart has pounded out of my chest for hours, thanks for thinking of our family tony Stewart when you decided to be a d–k! My nephew was one of a kind, a true race car driver, a p–s head and a sweetie all in one, a young man who will be truly missed by many! Aunt Wendi loves you budster, forever in our hearts."
Ward's parents, who were in the stands watching as their 20-year-old son was hit and killed released a simple and short statement:
"We appreciate the prayers and support we are receiving from the community, but we need time to grieve and wrap our heads around all of this."
Did Tony Stewart see Kevin Ward in time to swerve out of the way? Or did Stewart do everything in his power to get out of the way once seeing the irate driver on the track? Sheriff Povero, who is heading up the investigation, took to the media early on in this investigation to say that this was not a criminal investigation. He reported that they did not have any evidence to support any criminal actions on Stewart's part.
Did he come out too soon with that report? He now explains that the track and the track lighting are now being examined. He and his team are talking to people with vast experience in car racing. The investigators are talking to eye witnesses and they are reviewing two new tapes that have come into their office after the request for the public's help went out. The sheriff had asked that anyone who had videos of the Stewart-Ward incident to please make the videos available to the investigation.
While the investigation is still on-going, Povero stands by his first statement that there is no evidence as of yet to support any criminal investigation. He maintains this is a track incident.