Stewart investigation to continue for at least two more weeks

 

The Sports Network

Canandaigua, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - The investigation into last Saturday's accident in which NASCAR driver Tony Stewart struck and killed Kevin Ward Jr. during a sprint car race at Canandaigua Motorsports Park is expected to continue for at least two more weeks, possibly more.

Ontario County (N.Y.) Sheriff Philip Povero said on Tuesday the investigation into the death of Ward is ongoing and expects it to proceed for at least another couple of weeks. Povero noted that investigators continue to seek witnesses, gather evidence and reconstruct the crash.

The incident between Stewart and Ward occurred when both drivers made contact while battling for position, with Ward spinning out and hitting the wall.

A video showed Ward climbing out of his car and then walking down the dirt track during the caution. He was pointing his finger in the direction of Stewart and apparently yelling at him to express his displeasure.

Stewart's car and the vehicle of another competitor traveling in tandem approached Ward. The first car swerved to avoid hitting him, but the right rear of Stewart's vehicle struck Ward and dragged him briefly across the track.

Povero did not provide any details of the investigation during his briefing on Tuesday.

"It would be inappropriate to discuss details or findings of the investigation with the media at this time," he said.

Povero mentioned that when the investigation is completed, he and other members of the Ontario County Sheriff's Department involved in the case will meet with members of the Ontario County District Attorney's Office to discuss with them all aspects of the investigation.

On Monday, Povero said there were no criminal charges pending against Stewart at this time. That same day, the Ontario County coroner stated the cause of Ward's death was massive blunt trauma.

A funeral service for Ward has been scheduled for Thursday in Boonville, New York. Ward had been racing since the age of four when he competed in go karts. He was in his fifth season with the Empire Super Sprints Series.

Stewart, a three-time champion in NASCAR's top series, has yet to decide if he will compete in Sunday's 400-mile Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway. He has suspended his participation in sprint car races indefinitely. Stewart had been scheduled to compete in a winged sprint car event on Saturday night in Plymouth, Indiana.

This past Sunday, Regan Smith substituted for Stewart in the No. 14 Stewart- Haas Chevrolet at Watkins Glen International. Smith finished 37th.

Read more Sprint Cup stories from the Miami Herald

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