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Wrongful Death Civil Suit To Move Forward Against Tony Stewart

The family of Kevin Ward Jr. is accusing Stewart of causing his "wrongful death" after colliding with him after he had climbed out of his car during a race in New York in 2014

UTICA, NY -- A federal judge says a wrongful death lawsuit against former NASCAR driver Tony Stewart will move forward.

A US District Judge in New York says the civil suit against Stewart in the 2014 death of fellow sprint car driver Kevin Ward will proceed, after Stewart's lawyers filed a motion for a partial dismissal of the case.

Back in 2014, Ward was killed at a sprint car race in New York when he climbed out of his car after crashing. A video of the incident shows that Ward appeared frustrated with Stewart as he passed under caution. Stewart then collided with Ward which ended up killing him.

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An autopsy performed on Ward's body found he had marijuana in his system at the time of the incident.

Lawyers for Stewart argue that he did his best to avoid hitting Ward but couldn't swerve in time because it was all happening so fast. They add that Stewart is also protected from any liability in light of waivers both drivers signed before the race saying it was a "professional event."

However, Ward's family argues that it was a "recreational event" and the judge has agreed with the family in that respect. The judge has set a jury trial in the civil suit to proceed May 7th in Utica, New York.

Being a civil trial, Stewart does not face any kind of prison time and has not been charged with any crime.

(PHOTO: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

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