The August 9 race during which race car driver Tony Stewart’s car stuck and killed fellow driver Kevin Ward Jr. on the track has no doubt been replayed in the mind of Stewart a million times. Now it will be replayed–in exhaustive detail–in front of a New York grand jury. Ontario County District Attorney Michael Tantillo has announced he will take the case of Tony Stewart’s role in Ward’s death to a grand jury, where it will proceed out of the public eye. A case against Stewart would have to involve “evidence of intent”, according to experts. Or “evidence that the driver should have known that his actions could kill someone.” The latter condition–given the inclusion of the word “could”–would seem to include getting behind the wheel in the first place. The actions of a NASCAR driver “could” at any time put lives in danger.
“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,” DA Tantillo said. Stewart replied in a statement: “I respect the time and effort spent by both the Ontario County district attorney and the sheriff’s office in investigating this tragic accident. I look forward to this process being completed, and I will continue to provide my full cooperation.”