Ontario County (NY) Sheriff Philip Povero said Tuesday that the investigation into the racing accident involving NASCAR star Tony Stewart that took the life of a young racer, will take two more weeks. In statement emailed to the press as well as posted on the department website, said the investigation “is ongoing and is expected to continue for at least another two weeks or more. Investigators continue to seek witnesses, gather evidence, and develop the racetrack crash reconstruction.”
“It would be inappropriate to discuss details or findings of the investigation with the media at this time,” the statement said. “I would like to thank everyone for their cooperation as the Ontario County Office of Sheriff continues this investigation and for having patience as we conduct a thorough review of all of the relevant facts involving this tragic accident.”
Stewart was involved in an incident last Saturday night at Canandiagua Motorsports Park in upstate New York. In the aftermath 20-year-old, Kevin Ward Jr. was dead.
Video showed that Ward had been involved with Stewart on the previous lap. The video showed Ward’s car as it came to rest on the back stretch. Ward exited the vehicle, and still wearing his racing helmet walked toward the line of cars circling under caution. He angrily pointed towards the car driven by Stewart; Stewart’s car struck Ward who was thrown in the air and landed several feet away. Ward was later pronounced dead at a local hospital.
Sunday morning Stewart announced he would not participate in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Watkins Glen. He later issued a statement expressing his sadness. Late Sunday afternoon Sheriff Philip Povero held a press conference and said the investigation was not a criminal one.
"At this moment there are no facts or evidence that would support a criminal charge or criminal intent,"Povero said at a press conference just after 3 p.m. Sunday.
Tuesday the statement said the final determination will come from the district attorney.
“When the investigation is completed,” the statement said. “We will meet with members of the Ontario County District Attorney’s Office and discuss with them all aspects of the investigation into the crash that occurred on August 9, 2014 at the Canandaigua Speedway. At that time, more information relating to any determinations that have been made may be released. In closing, on behalf of the Ontario County Office of Sheriff, our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the family of Kevin Ward, Jr."