“Over the past several weeks, I have reviewed with members of the Ontario County Sheriff’s Department their investigation, as it progressed, in the Tony Stewart matter,” District Attorney Michael Tantillo said in a statement. “Recently that office concluded its work and forwarded the complete case file to me. Upon my review of all of the information contained in the entire investigation, I have made the determination that it would be appropriate to submit the evidence to a grand jury, for their determination as to what action should be taken in this matter.
“Accordingly, the evidence developed in the investigation will be presented to an Ontario County grand jury in the near future.”
Grand jury proceedings are confidential and Tantillo offered no further information, especially as to specifically when the grand jury will meet. As he awaits the grand jury’s determination, Stewart will continue to race, driving in the Sylvania 300 on Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
“I respect the time and effort spent by both the Ontario County District Attorney and the Sheriff’s Office in investigating this tragic accident,” Stewart said in a statement. “I look forward to this process being completed, and I will continue to provide my full cooperation.”
The incident at the New York track occurred as Stewart was indulging in his love of dirt-track racing. After his car bumped Ward’s into a wall, Ward exited his car and angrily walked onto the track, where he was struck by Stewart’s car.
The family of Ward, 20, has questioned Stewart’s actions on the track and, after taking a break from racing, Stewart noted that Ward’s death “is something that will affect my life forever.”