Officials are not rushing the investigation of the death of 20-year old Sprint car driver Kevin Ward Jr., who was struck by Tony Stewart during a race on Saturday in upstate New York.
"This is an ongoing investigation, and all options remain available," Sheriff Philip C. Povero of Ontario County, New York, said on CNN Monday morning. "We're continuing to gather and analyze every piece of evidence we can."
The Ontario County Sheriff's Department said that Stewart was cooperating with the investigation into the crash, and asked for anyone with video or images taken during the race to get in contact with them.
"They're going to look at all possibilities here," CBS News legal analyst Jack Ford told the network. "There could be some type of charges out of here that don't focus on intent."
Nicknamed "Smoke," Stewart has been in other altercations with drivers in the past. He released the following statement on his official website yesterday.
There aren’t words to describe the sadness I feel about the accident that took the life of Kevin Ward Jr. It’s a very emotional time for all involved, and it is the reason I’ve decided not to participate in today’s race at Watkins Glen. My thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and everyone affected by this tragedy."
Ward was killed after Stewart's car fishtailed, causing Ward to spin out into the right wall of the track in Canandaigua, New York. In a video of the event, Ward is then seen getting out of his car, angrily gesturing, and walking towards the center of the track before being struck by Stewart's car.
"If I'm a prosecutor and I'm taking a look at this, I'm going want to know about his conduct in the past," Ford said. "It would be a factor in intent, and it could also be a factor in the notion of negligence."
Regardless of the results of the investigation, the crash could dramatically affect Stewart's multi-million dollar Nascar empire, which include lucrative endorsement deals from Bass Pro Shops, Coca Cola, Chevrolet, and others according to Forbes.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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