Grand Jury to Consider Case Against Driver Tony Stewart
He could face charges in death of fellow driver
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 16, 2014 4:00 PM CDT
NASCAR driver Tony Stewart.   (Paul J. Bergstrom)

(Newser) – A grand jury will decide whether to charge three-time NASCAR champion Tony Stewart in the August death of a fellow driver at a race in upstate New York. Ontario County District Attorney Michael Tantillo said today he decided to present the case to a grand jury after reviewing evidence collected by sheriff's investigators. Tantillo could have determined there was not enough evidence to support charges and dropped the case, but instead announced his decision more than a month after Stewart's car struck and killed Kevin Ward Jr. at a dirt-track race on Aug. 9.

In a statement, Stewart said he respects the time and effort authorities have spent "investigating this tragic accident," adding, "I look forward to this process being completed, and I will continue to provide my full cooperation." In the race, Ward spun out while driving alongside Stewart, and the 20-year-old climbed out of his car and walked down the track, waving his arms in an apparent attempt to confront the 43-year-old NASCAR veteran. Experts have said Stewart could be charged with second-degree manslaughter under New York law if prosecutors believe he "recklessly caused the death of another person," with negligent homicide another possibility.