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Tony Stewart 'lost his temper' and caused death of driver, parents say

Tony Stewart 'lost his temper' and caused death of driver, parents say
Tony Stewart sits in his car in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Cheez-It 355 at New York's Watkins Glen International on Aug 7. (Matt Sullivan / Getty Images)

Though a grand jury decided not to indict racing star Tony Stewart on criminal charges in the racetrack death of Kevin Ward Jr., the late driver's parents still hold the three-time NASCAR champion responsible for the fatal incident.

"I don't feel Tony [Stewart] meant to kill my son, but his actions killed my son. I think he lost his temper," Pamela Ward told ABC's "Good Morning America" on Friday.

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Kevin Ward Jr. was killed on Aug. 19, 2014, after he was hit by a sprint car driven by Stewart during a race at a dirt track in Canandaigua, N.Y.

The incident began with Ward's car getting spun out by Stewart's, prompting the 20-year-old to exit his vehicle and walk on the track in a confrontational manner. He was then hit by Stewart's car as it came around a turn.

The family filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against Stewart last week, accusing him of negligence by gunning his engine and causing his car to slide into Ward.

"There's no doubt he knew what he was doing, and it was Tony's car that revved that motor," Kevin Ward said.

"We want justice for our son," Pamela Ward said. "We want [Stewart] accountable. It's the only option we have left."

Stewart maintains that Ward's death was the result of an accident. A toxicology report determined that Ward was under the influence of marijuana at the time of the incident, and a New York grand jury opted not to indict Stewart in the matter.

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Follow Matt Wilhalme on Twitter @mattwilhalme

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