A rendered decision by a grand jury probing the Tony Stewart-Kevin Ward Jr. accident is expected to be announced this afternoon.
Ontario County (N.Y.) District Attorney Michael Tantillo announced that a press release will be issued at 3 pm ET, followed shortly thereafter by a press conference.
The grand jury can either find there is enough evidence to indict Stewart on criminal charges, or it could find that there is not enough evidence and Stewart will not be indicted.
The grand jury was presented the evidence in the incident on Tuesday.
Stewart’s sprint car struck and killed Ward during a caution period in a short track race on Aug. 9 at Canandaigua Motorsports Park, located about an hour north of Watkins Glen International raceway.
Shortly after hitting the wall with his racecar, Ward exited the car and was coming down the racetrack in an apparent attempt to confront Stewart. The area where the incident occurred is dimly lit and Ward, of nearby Port Leyden, N.Y., was wearing an all-black firesuit.
As Ward approached Stewart’s car, Stewart appeared to take evasive action but the right rear tire of his sprint car struck Ward, 20, who was pronounced dead approximately 45 minutes later at a local hospital. Cause of death was ruled blunt force trauma.
That the grand jury has apparently come to a determination just one day after being convened and began its review of the evidence is somewhat surprisingly quick.
Investigators for Ontario County Sheriff Philip Povero completed their month-long investigation on Sept. 11 and turned over their findings to Tantillo.
Five days after his office reviewed the sheriff’s investigation, Tantillo said he would be turning over all evidence – including two videos that were enhanced by the New York State Police crime laboratory – to a grand jury for final determination on whether Stewart should be indicted on criminal charges or not.
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