A grand jury will decide if NASCAR driver Tony Stewart will be charged for the death of Kevin Ward Jr., who died last month. Ontario County District Attorney Michael Tantillo said Tuesday there was enough evidence to present the case to a grand jury sometime “in the near future,” the Washington Post wrote.
The district attorney said in a statemen that he determined the evidence collected by sheriff’s deputies was enough to submit a grand jury “for their determination as to what action should be taken in this matter.” Tantillo could have dropped the case if he decided there was not enough evidence against Stewart, 43, to support criminal charges.
Stewart and Ward were side-by-side in a sprint-car race Aug. 9 in Canandaigua, New York. when the 20-year-old lost control of his car and crashed into a fence. Ward then exited the car onto the dirt track and appeared to angrily gesture at Stewart, before being struck by the three-time NASCAR top series champion’s car when it passed back around.
Smartphone video capturing the initial crash and ensuing incident was widely distributed online. Stewart said in a statement that he looked “forward to this process being completed, and I will continue to provide my full cooperation.”
Tantillo said that due to strict confidentiality regarding grand jury proceedings, he could not say when it was scheduled. After presenting the case and allowing the grand jury to make a decision, the district attorney said he would “advise the public and the media at that time of the results.”