Tags: tony stewart | criminal | charges | death | kevin ward

Tony Stewart Criminal Charges in Kevin Ward's Death Not Likely

By    |   Monday, 11 Aug 2014 08:58 AM

Image: Tony Stewart Criminal Charges in Kevin Ward's Death Not Likely
(Kostas Lymperopoulos /CSM /Landov)
Tony Stewart will likely not face any criminal charges in connection to the racecar incident that killed fellow driver Kevin Ward Jr. in New York over the weekend, according to a law enforcement official.

Tempers flared at the sprint car race at Canandaigua Motorsports Park on Saturday after Stewart, a 43-year-old veteran NASCAR driver, and 20-year-old Ward got into an on-track altercation mid-race.

Multiple graphic YouTube videos show Ward's No. 13 car spin out after contact with Stewart's. Ward then exited his car, appearing to angrily gesture at Stewart, who reportedly hit the gas. The sudden burst of speed fishtailed his sprint car and the rear tire struck Ward, who was thrown into the air and later died from his injuries, Fox Sports reported.

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Tyler Graves, a sprint-car racer and friend of Ward's, described the incident to Sporting News.

"Tony pinched [Ward] into the frontstretch wall, a racing thing," Graves said. "The right rear tire went down, he spun on the exit of [turn] 2. They threw the caution and everything was toned down. Kevin got out of his car . . . He was throwing his arms up all over the place at Tony for most of the corner."

"I know Tony could see him. I know how you can see out of these cars. When Tony got close to him, he hit the throttle," he continued. "When you hit a throttle on a sprint car, the car sets sideways. It set sideways, the right rear tire hit Kevin, Kevin was sucked underneath and was stuck under it for a second or two and then it threw him about 50 yards."

"You never mean to do something like that," Graves added. "Kevin was pissed and he let Tony know. And Tony was trying to give the message back that he wasn't happy either. He went over the line with it."

At a news conference Sunday, Ontario County, New York, Sheriff Philip Povero said that Stewart has been "fully cooperative" with the investigation into Ward's death.

"This is right now being investigated as an on-track crash, and I don't want to infer that there are criminal charges pending," Povero said. "When the investigation is completed, we will sit down with the district attorney and review it. But I want to make it very clear: There are no criminal charges pending at this time."

Stewart, who was scrubbed from his scheduled Sunday race at the Cheez-It 355 at Watkins Glen, also issued a statement.

"There aren't words to describe the sadness I feel about the accident that took the life of Kevin Ward Jr.," he said. "It's a very emotional time for all involved, and it is the reason I've decided not to participate in today's race at Watkins Glen. My thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and everyone affected by this tragedy."

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Tony Stewart will likely not face any criminal charges in connection to the racecar incident that killed fellow driver Kevin Ward Jr. in New York over the weekend, according to a law enforcement official.
tony stewart, criminal, charges, death, kevin ward
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2014-58-11
Monday, 11 Aug 2014 08:58 AM
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