Tony Stewart not charged in the death of Kevin Ward Jr.
On Wednesday, a grand jury in upstate New York decided that criminal charges would not be brought against Tony Stewart in the death of sprint car driver Kevin Ward Jr.
During an Aug. 9 sprint car race, Stewart's car hit Ward after Ward got out of his car and walked onto the track to confront Stewart.
Ontario County (N.Y.) District Attorney Michael Tantillo said that Ward was under the influence of marijuana at the time of the crash, which was enough to impair his judgment.
Tantillo held a news conference on Wednesday to reveal the findings of the investigation.
Ward's mother released a statement to Kevin Oklobzija of the Democrat and Chronicle following the decision:
"Our son got out of his car during caution while the race was suspended. All the 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 the tragedy.
The focus should be on the actions of Tony Stewart and not my son.
This matter is not at rest and we will pursue all remedies in fairness to Kevin."
On Sept. 16, Tantillo said he would present evidence from the police investigation of the incident to a grand jury. According to the Rochester (N.Y.) Democrat & Chronicle, Chuck Hebing, who was driving in the race where Ward was hit, was called to testify about the accident.
Stewart did not participate in the three Sprint Cup Series races after Ward's death but did race in the next four.
- Sarah Barshop