Who was at fault?
Why did Ward insist on running directly in front of the Stewart’s vehicle? What did he expect to happen?
Did Stewart do enough— or even anything at all— to avoid the collision?
In the courtroom of public opinion, there still seems to be no unifying consensus to these questions. That, of course, is inconsequential to what legal discourse may ultimately happen.
Today, thankfully, the first step towards a resolution took place as the Ontario County Sheriff’s department completed their investigation into the death of Kevin Ward Jr. Their investigation details have now been submitted to the district attorney for review, and the DA’s office is scheduled to announce whether or not Stewart will face criminal charges by next week.
“The entire thorough investigation, including a forensic video enhancement recently received from the New York State Police Laboratory in Albany, has been submitted to the Office of the Ontario County District for review,” Sheriff Philip Povero said in a statement. “The District Attorney’s Office, which has been meeting throughout the investigative process with members of the Sheriff’s Office, will make a statement late next week advising what action will be taken regarding the investigation.”
Immediately after the accident, Sheriff Povero indicated that he did not expect that Stewart would be facing any charges, saying in a press conference, “At this moment there are no facts or evidence that would support a criminal charge or criminal intent.”
That, however, was weeks ago, and many have been wondering if a weeks’ long investigation could change this outlook.
Through it all, Stewart has maintained his innocence and remained somber about the event, even opting to sit out for the following 3 scheduled races.
“This is a sadness and a pain that I hope no one ever has to experience in their life,” said Stewart. “With that being said, I know the pain and the mourning that Kevin Ward’s family and friends are experiencing is something that I can’t possibly imagine.”
Obviously, Stewart hopes that the final chapter to this sobering story will come next week with the DA’s announcement. Of course, if the DA comes out with a surprise announcement, this could linger over the racing world for months to come.