Race Weekend Central

Tony Stewart Investigation Complete, Case Sent to District Attorney

Three-time Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart will learn his fate late next week on whether or not he will be charged in the fatal sprint car accident that claimed the life of Kevin Ward, Jr.

The Ontario County Sheriff’s Department announced today that it has wrapped up its investigation in the Aug. 9 accident in Canandaigua, N.Y. Ward, who was racing Stewart at Canandaigua Motorsports Park, crashed into the outside wall after making contact with Stewart, went down the track to confront him and was hit by the right side of Stewart’s car, eventually succumbing to injuries he suffered. The Ontario County coroner ruled that blunt force trauma was the cause of death.

A statement was released by the Ontario County Sheriff’s Department this afternoon regarding their investigation.

The entire thorough investigation, including a forensic video enhancement recently received from the New York State Police Laboratory in Albany, has been submitted to the Office of the Ontario County District for review,” the statement read. “The District Attorney’s Office, which has been meeting throughout the investigative process with members of the Sheriff’s Office, will make a statement late next week advising what action will be taken regarding the investigation.”

Stewart missed three Sprint Cup Series races following the accident, with Regan Smith and Jeff Burton filling in. He returned at Atlanta Motor Speedway two weeks ago and spoke in public for the first time since the accident released this statement.

“This is a sadness and a pain that I hope no one ever has to experience in their life,” said Stewart. “With that being said, I know that the pain and the mourning that Kevin Ward’s family and friends are experiencing is something that I can’t possibly imagine.”

Stewart thanked his friends, family and the NASCAR community for standing by him.

“I’ve taken the last couple weeks off out of respect for Kevin and his family and also to cope with the accident in my own way,” he said. “It’s given me the time to think about life and how easy it is to take it for granted. I miss my team, my teammates, and I miss being back in the race car. I think getting back in the car this week with my racing family will help me get through this difficult time.”

According to experts, the stiffest charges Stewart could face if he is charged with criminal wrongdoing could range from criminal negligence to second-degree manslaughter.

About the author

Justin starts his second year with the Frontstretch in 2014, responsible for Sprint Cup news in our e-newsletter twice a week. Also a Frontstretch Power Rankings contributor, he acts as “super sub” filling in for various columns throughout the season. He resides out in Missouri.

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