Today, the racing world sat and waited for the results of a grand jury investigation that would determine the charges weighed against professional race car driver Tony Stewart for his role in the death of his fellow racer Kevin Ward Jr. on August 9. Around 3 PM, the results of this investigation were revealed. According to the New York District Attorney announcing the decision, the grand jury found "no basis to charge Stewart with a crime."
There were a number of factors that played into the 23-person jury's decision, including videos, photographic evidence, and dozens of witness testimonies, as well as Ward's initial decision to run onto a "hot track while other cars were racing." The DA added that Ward had marijuana in his system at the time of his death, adding a previously unknown angle to the entire incident.
This detail actually plays an extremely important part in what will happen next. While many were skeptical that Stewart would be charged in a criminal court, there was an expectation that he would be taken to civil court and sued by Ward's family in a wrongful death lawsuit. However, the DA made sure to note that the amount of THC in Ward's body on the night of his death was "enough to impair his judgment." Given these circumstances, winning such any sort of case becomes exponentially more difficult.
No steps have been announced yet for the Ward family or for Stewart. We'll keep you updated as the story continues to develop.