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Mon, 11 Aug 2014 21:45:06 +0000
(CANANDAIGUA, N.Y.) -- Authorities investigating the Tony Stewart racing accident that killed a fellow driver said Monday that "at this time, there are no facts to support any criminal behavior."
Investigators are reviewing two videos of the crash, which occurred at Canandaigua Motorsports Park in New York, and are looking for additional recordings and eyewitness testimony from both spectators and other drivers on the course.
Kevin Ward Jr., 20, was killed Saturday after he got out of his car in what looked like an attempt to confront Stewart during a sprint car race. Video of the incident has shown Ward gesturing towards Stewart's vehicle as he walked out of his own car and towards the center of the racetrack, where he was run over by Stewart's car.
Ontario County Sheriff Philip Povero said the district attorney "wants to certainly review this."
"As we speak, at this time, there are no facts that exist that support any criminal behavior or conduct or any probable cause of a criminal act in this investigation," Povero said, adding that no criminal charges have been filed in the case.
He said investigators have spoken with Stewart's representatives, saying that they "continue to be of assistance when necessary." The sheriff said that he was not aware of any bad blood between Stewart and Ward.
The press conference came on the same day that Ward's racing series confirmed that the 20-year-old's viewing will be held on Wednesday, before the funeral on Thursday.
Empire Super Sprints, the series that counted Ward as a racer, announced on their website that the family is calling for "the biggest turnout ever" at the funeral.
"I am extremely devastated from the tragic incident that occurred at Canandaigua Motorsports Park on Saturday night as I know are many, many, others," Canandaigua Motorsports Park promoter Jeremie Corcoran said in a statement.
He went on to call upon fans to show restraint before rushing to judgment about the case, asking them to "think about all the lives that have been affected over this before you speak out."
"This has been difficult to process and it surely is not what you come to the races for," Corcoran said in the statement. "I do ask that you hold on to your integrity and have compassion for everyone that was involved in this."
Stewart, who dropped out of NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series race held Sunday at Watkins Glen in New York, issued a statement over the weekend saying, "There aren't words to describe the sadness I feel about the accident that took the life of Kevin Ward Jr."
Stewart has pulled out of a dirt track race scheduled for Saturday at Plymouth Speedway in Indiana, the day before a Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway.
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