Published on September 24th, 2014 | by Michael J Smith0
Stewart Will Not Face Charges In Ward’s Death
Tony Stewart will not be charged for his role in the on-track death of sprint car driver Kevin Ward Jr, prosecutors in upstate New York announced.
According to toxicology reports, Ward was found to be under the influence of marijuana at the time of his death.
In August, Tony Stewart was involved in an accident with Ward during a sprint car race at Canandaigua Motorsports Park. The two were racing hard when Stewart squeeze Ward up into the wall, causing Ward to spin and receive a flat tire.
Ward exited his car and began walking down the track as the cars circled the track under caution. He began to show his displeasure towards the way Stewart raced him when Stewart’s car hit him, and ran him over.
Ward was taken to Thompson Health and pronounced dead on arrival.
Stewart missed three races as he dealt with the tragedy.
A little over a week ago, the Ontario County Office of the Sheriff completed its investigation and turned its results over to the Office of the Ontario County District. Ontario County District Attorney Michael Tantillo reviewed the information from the investigation and decided to turn it over to a grand jury.
Update: Tony Stewart issued a statement:
This has been the toughest and most emotional experience of my life, and it will stay with me forever. I’m very grateful for all the support I’ve received and continue to receive. I respect everything the District Attorney and Sheriff’s Office did to thoroughly investigate this tragic accident. While the process was long and emotionally difficult, it allowed for all the facts of the accident to be identified and known. While much of the attention has been on me, it’s important to remember a young man lost his life. Kevin Ward Jr.’s family and friends will always be in my thoughts and prayers.
Update 2: The Ward family issued a statement:
Our son got out of his car during caution, while the race was suspended. All other vehicles were reducing speed and not accelerating except for Tony Stewart, who intentionally tried to intimidate Kevin by accelerating and sliding his car towards him, causing this tragedy. The focus should be on the actions of Tony Stewart and not Kevin. The matter is not at rest and we will pursue all remedies, in fairness to Kevin.