News

Sheriff: ‘All options’ open on possible charges against Stewart

Sheriff: ‘All options’ open on possible charges against Stewart

DRIVER KILLED: This image provided by Logan Messerly shows ambulances on the scene at Canandaigua Motorsports Park on Saturday Aug. 9, in Canandaigua, N.Y. Authorities are investigating a serious crash that injured one person at a New York dirt track where Tony Stewart was racing on the eve of a NASCAR race. Photo: Associated Press/Logan Messerly

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The sheriff investigating the death of a race car driver in New York state said on Monday that while no criminal charges are pending against NASCAR star Tony Stewart “all options” are open and that authorities are seeking any additional video of the incident.

Driver Kevin Ward Jr., 20, was struck and killed by the car driven by Stewart on Saturday night on a dirt track during a low-stakes race at Canandaigua Motorsports Park, about 25 miles southeast of Rochester, New York. Stewart, 43, is one of the biggest stars in U.S. auto racing.

Asked whether he expected charges against Stewart, Ontario County Sheriff Philip Povero said in an interview on CNN that he would “not speculate on that at this time” and that “there’s much work to be done before we can come to any conclusions.”

Some video of the incident has surfaced, but Povero said: “We are basically trying to see if there are any other video recordings that may have been made on Saturday night that could help us in the analysis of this crash.”

Asked whether the death was an accident or a deliberate act, Povero said “accurate data from video” would help investigators “clearly isolate what happened.”

Stewart’s car appeared to have clipped Ward’s car and caused it to spin out of the race, video of the incident posted online showed. Ward, of Port Leyden, New York, stepped out of his car and onto the track and seemed to gesture at Stewart before being struck and killed, the video showed.

The sheriff said Stewart, Ward’s family, race track officials and management and other race car drivers have been cooperative. Povero said investigators also were awaiting autopsy results.

“We have consulted with the district attorney. And although … there are no criminal charges pending at this time, this is an ongoing investigation and all options remain available, or open, at this time,” Povero told CNN. He did not put a timetable on a decision on possible charges.

Stewart, of Columbus, Indiana, is a three-time NASCAR champion and one of the highest-paid drivers. He has occasionally gotten into fights with other drivers, including a shoving match with Joey Logano at the Auto Club 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race in Fontana, California, last year.

Stewart withdrew from Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Watkins Glen, New York.

(Reporting by Will Dunham; Editing by Susan Heavey)

Recent Headlines

7 hours ago in Viral Videos

WATCH: This slow-mo capture of a lightning strike is like fire falling from the sky

15-overlay-15

This wicked weather was recorded at 7000 frames per second. Mother Nature is truly breathtaking.

8 hours ago in Weird

Thai man bloodied but unbowed after intimate attack by snake

toilet

A Thai man is recovering from a bloody encounter with a 10-foot python that slithered through the plumbing of his home and latched its jaws onto his penis as he was using a squat toilet.

8 hours ago in Music, Viral Videos

Blake Shelton finally tries sushi

20-overlay-11

Jimmy Fallon takes "The Voice" judge out for a little dinner and a chance to broaden his horizons.

14 hours ago in Music

Chris Cornell wins mastertapes battle

chriscornell218113539983

The rocker has won the battle for the mastertapes to his Temple of the Dog recordings just in time for the 25th anniversary of the supergroup venture.

15 hours ago in Weird

This man really wanted to set a world record

worldrecordtattooREUTERS

An Indian man obsessed with setting Guinness world records got 366 flags tattooed on his body and had all his teeth removed so he could put nearly 500 drinking straws and more than 50 burning candles in his mouth.