Catching a wave: Owen Wright, of Australia, competes in the Billabong Pro surfing competition in Tahiti on Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014. (Photo: Will Hayden-Smith/The Association of Surfing Professionals/The Associated Press)
Mathys Goosen of the Netherlands competes in the men’s 100m butterfly semifinal competition at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, in eastern China’s Jiangsu province on August 18, 2014. More than 3,700 competitors aged 15 to 18 were expected to participate in the games, with many hoping to build towards a place at the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro.
This picture taken with an underwater camera shows Ukraine’s team performing their free combination routine in the synchronized swimming event of the 32nd LEN European Swimming Championships on August 15, 2014 in Berlin. (Photo: Damien Meyer/AFP/Getty Images
One of these things is not like the others: Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang celebrates after scoring his side’s second goal during the German soccer Super Cup match between Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich in Dortmund, Germany, Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Sascha Schuermann)
Get a leg up: Athletes jump during their 3000m steeplechase heat during the European Athletics Championships in Zurich, Switzerland, Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014. (Photo: Petr David JosekThe Associated Press)
A small memorial of flowers is seen at Canandaigua Motorsports Park Monday, Aug. 11, 2014, in Canandaigua, N.Y. after Tony Stewart struck and killed Kevin Ward Jr. (Photo: Mel Evans/The Associated Press)
Once the first fan video of the incident hit YouTube around 2:30 a.m. ET on Sunday morning, the Internet was quick to form its Warren Commission to review the two laps depicted in the video and to apportion blame as quickly as possible.
Anyone who watches the video will see the actions of the people of involved — Ward more so than Stewart — but none of us will ever know what was going through Ward’s mind when he decided to get out of the car. It’s a pretty good bet that we will never know what was going through Stewart’s mind when he came upon Ward. Only Stewart knows what he was thinking the moment he first caught sight of Ward waving and pointing at him. Was he was swerving to avoid a sudden danger or stepping on the gas to spray a little dirt as some have suggested as a way to answer an argument on a dirt track? Either answer is a hell only Tony Stewart has to live with.
There is one little bit of this tragedy that Stewart does bear responsibility for: the ever-increasing, fan-approved race-track road rage that is a popular staple of highlight shows and top-10 lists.