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Tony Stewart fatal sprint car incident to be heard by grand jury

The decision over whether Tony Stewart is to face charges following the sprint car accident that left a fellow driver dead will be referred to a grand jury.

Ontario (NY) Country District Attorney Michael Tantillo announced on Tuesday that his review of evidence from the investigation into the death of Kevin Ward Jr, who was struck by Stewart's car during a race in early August, had prompted him to let a grand jury decide whether there was any criminal intent in Stewart's actions.

He did not say when the grand jury is expected to meet, nor who will be called upon as witnesses, although he did not rule out the possibility that Stewart might be asked to appear.

Ward was killed by a massive blunt trauma after being struck by Stewart's right-rear wheel when he approached the NASCAR Sprint Cup star's car on foot during a caution following an on-track incident.

Stewart, who missed three Cup races immediately after the accident before returning at Atlanta, said that he will continue to cooperate with the investigation.

"I respect the time and effort spent by both the Ontario County District Attorney and the sheriff's office in investigating this tragic accident," he said in a statement.

"I look forward to this process being completed, and I will continue to provide my full co-operation."

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