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'No criminal behaviour' in racing driver's death

But police continue probe into incident in which Nascar's Tony Stewart hit and killed Kevin Ward

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 12 August, 2014, 11:21pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 12 August, 2014, 11:26pm
 

US police have found "no criminal behaviour" on racing driver Tony Stewart's part but will continue their probe into a bizarre incident in which he struck and killed an up-and-coming driver.

At this time there are no facts that exist that support any criminal behaviour or conduct or that any probable cause of a criminal act in this investigation
Philip Povero

Stewart, one of the most popular drivers in America's Nascar circuit, ploughed into 20-year-old Kevin Ward Jnr during a non-Nascar race on a dirt track on Saturday night at Canandaigua Motor Sports Park.

"At this time there are no facts that exist that support any criminal behaviour or conduct or that any probable cause of a criminal act in this investigation," Ontario County Sheriff spokesman Philip Povero said.

Povero said they have interviewed Stewart and several others who witnessed the incident and they say Stewart, who was unhurt, has been cooperative.

Povero said they were looking for more video footage of the crash as part of their investigation. He said they already had two videos of the incident.

"We are seeking persons outside that are familiar with racing that can help us review and analyse these tapes to hopefully fully understand the crash," he said.

Meanwhile, the 43-year-old American, who missed Sunday's Nascar Sprint Cup Series race at the Watkins Glen International track, has withdrawn from a second non-Nascar race on Saturday in Plymouth, Indiana.

"We at Plymouth Speedway extend our deepest condolences and prayers to the family of Kevin Ward Jnr and thoughts and prayers to Tony Stewart and his family. Tony Stewart will not be racing at Plymouth Speedway this Saturday," race officials said. There is no word on whether Stewart will compete in a Nascar race in Michigan on Sunday.

Saturday's incident happened near turn two at the halfway point of a 25-lap Lucas Oil Super Sprint Features dirt race.

Stewart first bumped Ward's car and knocked it out of the race. On his next lap Stewart's vehicle collided with Ward, who had climbed out of his car and was walking down the track pointing his finger in the direction of Stewart's car.

As the car passed by Ward it appeared to rev and then fishtail, hitting Ward and dragging him along the track for several metres.

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