(CANANDAIGUA, N.Y.) — Nearly two months after Tony Stewart struck and killed a fellow driver, the district attorney’s office on Wednesday said a grand jury investigation determined there was insufficient evidence to indict the NASCAR star.
The grand jury’s investigation began last week and its findings were released on Wednesday by the Ontario County District Attorney’s Office in Canandaigua, New York.
Kevin Ward Jr., 20, died earlier this month after he exited his car in what looked like an attempt to confront Stewart during a sprint car event at Canandaigua Motorsports Park in upstate New York. Video of the incident shows Ward gesturing toward Stewart’s vehicle as he walked out of his own car and toward the center of the racetrack where Stewart’s car hit him.
District Attorney Michael Tantillo said he decided to present the case to a grand jury after he reviewed evidence collected by the sheriff’s office, which said last month it found no evidence of criminal behavior.
After the incident, Stewart, 43, took several weeks off from racing before making a return to the ORAL-B USA 500 at the Atlanta Motor Speedway on Aug. 31.
“This has been one of the toughest tragedies that I’ve ever had to deal with, both professional and personally, and this is something that will definitely affect my life forever,” Stewart said at a news conference two days before the race.
“I’ve taken the last couple of weeks off out of respect for Kevin and his family and to cope with the accident my own way. It’s given me the time to think about life and how easy it is to take it for granted,” Stewart said.
“I miss my team, my teammates, and I miss being back in the race car. And I think being back in the car this week with my racing family will help me get through this difficult time,” he added.
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