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Nascar star Tony Stewart sued over Kevin Ward death

Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International on 7 August, 2015 Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Tony Stewart returned to the racing circuit three weeks after the crash

The family of a racing driver who was struck and killed by Nascar star Tony Stewart has filed a wrongful death suit against him.

Kevin Ward, 20, died after he got out of his car in the middle of a road race in New York in August 2014 and was hit by Mr Stewart's vehicle.

The Ward family has accused him of acting with "reckless and malicious intent and negligence" and is suing for unspecified damages.

Mr Stewart was not criminally charged.

In a statement, Mr Ward's parents Kevin and Pamela said: "Our hope is that this lawsuit will hold Tony Stewart responsible for killing our son and show him there are real consequences when someone recklessly takes another person's life."

A court hearing in September heard that Mr Ward was under the influence of marijuana on the night of the accident.

He had "enough to impair judgment", according to Ontario County District Attorney Michael Tantillo.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Kevin Ward Jr was a competitive sprint car driver

Mr Stewart, 43, a three-time Nascar champion, had previously described the collision as "the toughest and most emotional experience" of his life.

The pair were racing alongside each other at Canandaigua Motorsports Park on 9 August, when Mr Ward's car spun out of control.

He exited the vehicle and walked down the track, waving his arms at Mr Stewart in an apparent attempt to confront him.

The lawsuit claims the Nascar veteran then revved his car's engine, causing it to slide and strike the victim, throwing him into the air.

Mr Ward's father later told a local newspaper there was "no reason" for the death, given Mr Stewart's experience and skills.

Police spent four weeks examining evidence in the case, including two videos, which they said "did not demonstrate aberrational driving by Tony Stewart".

A New York grand jury declined to charge him on charges of manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide.

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