Officials are conducting an investigation into a four-vehicle crash that killed one person and injured several others, in which Olympic gold-medal athlete and reality TV star Bruce Jenner was involved, according to news reports. It happened around noon on Saturday, TMZ staff reported.
As Inside Edition writes, the accident occurred when a Prius traveling north on the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, Calif., suddenly slowed down. A following white Lexus plowed into it, and Bruce Jenner, driving a black Escalade, then rear-ended the Lexus, which pushed it into oncoming traffic, IE writes. A Hummer heading south on the opposite side of the road then hit the Lexus, killing the driver, Kim Howe, 69.
The Prius driver and Jenner could be facing involuntary manslaughter charges because of the fatality, Jen Heger writes for Radar Online. “If the driver of the Prius was attempting to make an illegal U-turn or was using a cell phone to talk or text, which is illegal while driving, that person could absolutely be charged,” Heger writes.
Jenner was towing another vehicle at the time, which could have added to the force of the Lexus being hit, Heger writes. Jenner “could also be cited for following too closely behind the Lexus,” Heger writes.
Paparazzi photos showed Jenner holding his cell phone, and deputies were investigating to determine if those photos were taken before the crash, writes Melissa MacBride and ABC7.com staff for ABC7.com. Jenner’s publicist, Alan Nierob, said his client (who was not injured in the crash) was not texting while driving, MacBride writes. Sgt. Phillip Brooks said it can be difficult to determine if a driver was texting at the moment of a crash. In addition, officials will have all four vehicles inspected to see if they had any mechanical defects that could have contributed to the accident,MacBride writes.
MacBride writes that although paparazzi were following Jenner at the time, they were not involved in the crash, according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials. Brooks said Jenner said he was not trying to evade the paparazzi, MacBride writes. Jenner, who is on the E! network’s reality show Keeping Up With the Kardashians, was recently divorced from Kris Jenner, mother of the four Kardashian children and of two daughters with Jenner.
Brooks told Inside Edition that Jenner passed the field sobriety test and voluntarily submitted a blood sample. Jenner did not appear to be under the influence, but police checked just to be sure, Brooks said.
IE’s special correspondent Zoey Tur said the hormones Jenner may have been taking in his transformation from male to female could have been a factor in the crash. Kate Sheehy reports for Page Six of the New York Post that following the car accident, Jenner told hospital workers he has been taking a very low dose of prescribed hormones. However, Sheriff’s Deputy Eric Hoffman told Sheehy that officials do not check for hormones, as they are not considered a factor in motor collisions.
Kim Howe, the woman who was killed, was a wealthy animal-rights activist who lived in Calabasas, IE writes. The two adults and three children (one of them a newborn baby) in the Hummer were briefly hospitalized and then released, IE writes.
MacBride quotes Jenner as saying in a statement on Sunday that he will cooperate with the investigation in every way possible. He added:
‘My heartfelt and deepest sympathies go out to the family and loved ones, and to all of those who were involved or injured in this terrible accident…. It is a devastating tragedy and I cannot pretend to imagine what this family is going through at this time. I am praying for them.’
Inside Edition reports that the day after the crash, Jenner was photographed in his Porsche driving on the same part of the roadway where the crash took place. “He was doing 56 in a 50 mile-per-hour zone,” IE writes.
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