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DA Sends Stewart Case To Grand Jury

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Tuesday, September 16 2014

Tony Stewart's legal fate to be decided by grand jury. (RacinToday/HHP file photo by Christa L Thomas)


The decision on whether driver Tony Stewart should be charged with a crime in the wake of a fatal short track wreck which occurred during a sprint car race in upstate New York will be left to a grand jury it was announced Tuesday.

Michael Tantillo, the district attorney in Ontario County, N.Y., made the announcement after examining evidence collected by the county sheriff’s office.

Rather than made a decision on filing charges against Stewart, or on dismissing the three-time Sprint Cup champion, Tantillo opted to send the case to the grand jury.

Stewart issued the following statement on Tuesday afternoon: “I respect the time and effort spent by both the Ontario County District Attorney and the Sheriff’s Office in investigating this tragic accident. I look forward to this process being completed, and I will continue to provide my full cooperation.”

The fatal incident occurred on the night of Aug. 9. at Canandaigua Motorsports Park. Stewart and Kevin Ward Jr. were racing when Ward’s car wrecked. Ward, 20, got out of his car and walked down the track toward Stewart’s car, which was circling the track under caution.

Stewart’s car struck Ward, who was wearing a black driver’s suit and black helmet, killing the young driver.

Stewart took three weeks off from driving in NASCAR events to grieve.

He will reportedly race this weekend in the Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

NASCAR chief communications officer Brett Jewkes issued the following statement on Tuesday: “We are aware of the completed investigation and the announced next steps. First, our thoughts continue to be with all who have been impacted by this tragedy. We will monitor this process and stay in close contact with Stewart-Haas Racing. It would be inappropriate for NASCAR to comment on this case so we will continue to respect the process and authorities involved.”

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Tuesday, September 16 2014
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