Decision on Tony Stewart crash to come next week, officials say

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[September 12, 2014]  SYRACUSE N.Y. (Reuters) - Prosecutors will make a statement late next week on whether they will be taking action against three-time NASCAR champion Tony Stewart stemming from a fatal dirt-track crash last month, officials in upstate New York said on Thursday.

The Ontario County Sheriff's Office said it had completed its investigation of the incident in which Stewart's car struck and killed Kevin Ward Jr. on Aug. 9 during a race at the Canandaigua Motorsports Park.

Stewart and Ward bumped cars during the race, and the collision sent Ward into an outside retaining wall. During the ensuing caution period, Ward, 20 jumped out of his car in an apparent attempt to confront the 43-year-old Stewart, who remained in the race.

When Stewart came around on the next lap, his car appeared to fishtail, striking Ward and throwing him some 50 feet.

Sheriff Philip Povero said previously there were no facts that supported charging Stewart but that he would conduct a thorough investigation.

The investigation included a forensic enhancement of video taken of the accident, the sheriff's office said on Thursday.

Stewart has called it one of the toughest tragedies he has ever had to deal with, and "something that will definitely affect my life forever."

(Reporting by Matthew Liptak; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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