Sheriff: No evidence of criminal intent
August 10, 2014, Staff report, NASCAR.com
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Following the incident that took place at Canandaigua Motorsports Park in Ontario County, New York on Saturday night in which a sprint car driven by Sprint Cup Series driver Tony Stewart struck and killed a fellow sprint car driver outside of his vehicle, Sheriff Philip Povero addressed the media to update his ongoing investigation with more information.
"Right now, we’re less than 16 hours into this investigation and it continues to be ongoing. ... There are no criminal charges pending at this time and I would follow that up by saying that as we have reviewed the investigation to this point with the Ontario County District Attorney," Povero said. "I want to make it very clear that as we speak at this time, there is no evidence in hand or no facts that would support a criminal charge or support criminal intent on the part of anybody."
A YouTube video of the incident showed Stewart racing to the low side of Kevin Ward Jr., of Port Leyden, New York. The two cars made contact, sending Ward's No. 13 car bounding off the Turn 2 wall.
After Ward spun to a stop with a flat right-rear tire, the driver quickly dismounted to confront Stewart, walking out onto the track and pointing at the veteran driver's No. 14. Stewart's car revved and fishtailed, catching Ward with its right-rear tire and sending him a sizable distance from the crash site.
"The district attorney is very interested and supportive in the investigation and has offered their assistance and any other advice they can offer."
Povero also noted that as the investigation continues, his department is soliciting amateur videos that can be used to further his investigation and is calling assistance from the public to come forth with such material.
"With the media present, I would ask for some assistance from the public that if there are persons hearing or seeing this message that had recorded a video of this crash or had first-hand knowledge of this crash, our investigators would like to reach out to you, retrieve this data and conduct interviews to obtain relevant information."