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Grand Jury Won't Indict NASCAR's Stewart In Driver's Death

Sep 24, 2014
Originally published on September 25, 2014 5:07 am

A grand jury in Ontario County, N.Y., where driver Tony Stewart struck and killed another driver who walked onto the track during a sprint car race last month, has found no cause for charges against Stewart.

County District Attorney Michael Tantillo said in a statement released Wednesday that in the hearings on the Aug. 9 death of Kevin Ward Jr., jurors heard testimony from about two dozen witnesses and reviewed photos and videos.

Ward, who appeared to be trying to confront Stewart about an earlier incident, stepped out onto the dirt track and was hit and dragged under Stewart's car.

The Ward family said in a statement that they did not consider the matter closed.

"Our son got out of his car during caution when the race was suspended. All the other vehicles were reducing speed and not accelerating except for Stewart, who intentionally tried to intimidate Kevin by accelerating and sliding his car toward him, causing the tragedy. The focus should be on the actions of Mr. Stewart. This matter is not at rest and we will pursue all remedies in fairness to Kevin."

In a statement posted to his Facebook page, Stewart said the accident and investigation was "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."

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