CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Investigators are still working to determine if Tony Stewart will face charges in the death of fellow driver Kevin Ward Jr.
Ward was hit by Stewart's car on a dirt track in New York on Saturday night. Charlotte criminal attorney James Wyatt said Stewart could face second-degree manslaughter or negligent homicide charges but he believes it's unlikely.
“What this investigation will focus on is whether he was reckless in his conduct or negligent,” Wyatt said.
Ward's car spun out after he was bumped by the three-time NASCAR champion during the race in Ontario County, New York.
Ward then got out of his car and walked onto the track seemingly to confront Stewart.
Moments later, Ward was struck by Stewart's car and killed.
Wyatt said investigators will consult with experts and analyze every detail of the video to determine who, if anyone, is responsible in Ward's death.
Wyatt said investigators will likely consider a number of factors, including, "How fast was he going? How much time did he have to avoid hitting him? What was visibility like? How hard is it to turn a car like that in that short period of time?"
Wyatt said in the end he does not think Stewart will face any criminal charges. He also said Ward's family would have a difficult time trying to pursue a civil suit.
"The problem is he assumed risk of dangers of driving on race track and then he got out of the car and walked right to the middle of the track," Wyatt said. "So I'd think it would be a very difficult case."
Channel 9 spoke to longtime NASCAR fan John Cordeiro at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in uptown Charlotte. Cordeiro also doesn't think Stewart should be charged but said that doesn't erase how devastating this is for everyone.
"I just feel bad for all parties involved. It's tragic, yeah, but I don't think anyone should be held responsible,” he said.
The sheriff in Ontario County, New York, where the deadly accident happened, said it could be at least two more weeks before the investigation is complete.
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