Stewart-Ward investigation 'finishing up' but no timetable for completion

The Ontario County (N.Y.) Police Department told the investigation into Kevin Ward Jr.'s death is in the final stages, but there is no timetable for its completion.

Ontario County Sheriff Philip C. Povero speaks to reporters on August 12, 2014 in Canandaigua, New York. Ontario County Police Department officials told the investigation into the death of Kevin Ward Jr. is in the final stages. 

Guy Solimano / Getty Images North America

The Ontario County (N.Y.) Police Department is in the final stages of its investigation into the death of Kevin Ward Jr., but there is no timetable yet for its completion, a department spokesperson told Monday morning.

Officer Nathaniel Ross, the OCPD's Senior Communications Officer, said Monday morning that the police are "finishing up" the Ward investigation. Asked if there was a timetable for when it would be completed and when the findings would be made public, Ross said, "Not that I'm aware of."

Ward, 20, died Aug. 9 after being struck by Stewart's sprint car at an Empire Super Sprints Series race at Canandaigua Motorsports Park in Upstate New York. Ward was racing Stewart when he crashed into an outside wall.

After he crashed, Ward got out of his car and onto the track, gesturing at Stewart as he came around under caution. Stewart's right-rear tire struck Ward, who died en route to the hospital. The Ontario County coroner ruled that the cause of death was blunt-force trauma.

The investigation will determine whether or not Stewart will face any criminal charges.  Regardless of the outcome of the police findings, Stewart potentially could face civil liability.

Stewart has not spoken publicly about the crash, although the day after it happened, Stewart and SHR issued the following statement: "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."

Since the crash, Stewart has missed the last three Sprint Cup races and team officials have described him as distraught over the incident.

"It's been an emotional week for him (Stewart)," said SHR executive vice president Brett Frood during an Aug. 15 press conference. "He's grieving.  Anytime someone is lost, especially at a racetrack, it's tragic. It was a tragic accident, and he's dealing with quite a bit of grief."

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