For over a month now, there has been speculation concerning whether or not Tony Stewart should face criminal charges in the deadly incident involving Kevin Ward Jr.
Today, that was put to rest as a grand jury in Ontario County, New York decided not to file criminal charges against the NASCAR champion.
All week, the grand jury has been listening to testimony on the accident that happened on August 9th at the Canandaigua Motorsports Park. According to reports, more than two dozen witnesses testified, including two different accident reconstruction specialists.
“After listening to and questioning all of the witnesses, and reviewing all of the evidence, the grand jury has determined that there is no basis to charge Tony Stewart with any crimes; his case was “No-Billed” by the grand jury,” said District Attorney Michael Tantillo in a statement released prior to his press conference.
Stewart, of course, was facing two charges for the now-infamous incident: manslaughter in the second degree and criminally negligent homicide. In order for these charges to be pursued, there would have had to be 12 votes coming from the 23 man grand jury.
For Stewart, the announcement can mark the final chapter of this tragic event, which has haunted him and forced him out of numerous races.
“This has been one of the toughest tragedies I’ve ever had to deal with both professionally and personally,” Stewart said in a public statement days after the tragedy.
“This is something that will definitely affect my life forever. This is a sadness and a pain that I hope no one ever has to experience in their life. With that being said, I know that the pain and the mourning that Kevin Ward’s family and friends are experiencing is something that I can’t possibly imagine. I want Kevin’s father, Kevin Sr., and his mother Pam, and his sisters Christi, Kayla, Katelyn to know that every day I’m thinking about them and praying for them.”