Cait­lyn Jen­ner may face man­slaugh­ter in crash: po­lice

The China Post - - ARTS - BY TAMI ABDOLLAH

Cait­lyn Jen­ner could face a ve­hic­u­lar man­slaugh­ter charge af­ter sher­iff’s in­ves­ti­ga­tors found she was driv­ing un­safely when she caused a chain-re­ac­tion crash that killed a woman last Fe­bru­ary, of­fi­cials said Thurs­day.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors found that Jen­ner was driv­ing “un­safe for the pre­vail­ing road con­di­tions” when her SUV rear-ended a Lexus, Los An­ge­les County Sher­iff’s Depart­ment spokes­woman Ni­cole Nishida said.

Jen­ner was haul­ing an off-road ve­hi­cle on a trailer be­hind her Cadil­lac Es­calade on Feb. 7 when she steered to avoid cars slow­ing for a traf­fic light in front of her on the Pa­cific Coast High­way in Mal­ibu.

Jen­ner was un­able to stop in time and her SUV rear-ended two cars, push­ing the Lexus into on­com­ing traf­fic and also hit­ting a Toy­ota Prius. The Lexus driver, 69-year-old Kim Howe, was killed when her car was struck head-on by a Hum­mer.

The case will be pre­sented to pros­e­cu­tors for fi­nal re­view next week, Nishida said. The dis­trict at­tor­ney’s of­fice will de­ter­mine what charges Jen­ner ul­ti­mately faces.

If con­victed of such a charge, Jen­ner could face up to one year in county jail. Jen­ner’s at­tor- ney Blair Berk de­clined com­ment.

Be­cause Jen­ner has no prior record, it’s un­likely she would face any jail time if pros­e­cu­tors charge her with ve­hic­u­lar man­slaugh­ter and she’s con­victed, said Daniel W. Vomhof, an ac­ci­dent re­con­struc­tion­ist who’s tes­ti­fied in 3,500 cases.

He said Jen­ner would more likely face a fine or pro­ba­tion — or even an ul­ti­mately lesser charge such as driv­ing too fast for con­di­tions.

Vomhof said Jen­ner’s ex­pe­ri­ence tow­ing a loaded trailer may come into play be­cause the ad­di­tional weight makes it more dif­fi­cult to stop a ve­hi­cle quickly and can sur­prise peo­ple. Also key to what’s ul­ti­mately charged, he said, will be how de­tailed the po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion was in record­ing speeds and dis­tances at the ac­ci­dent scene.

The fa­tal crash oc­curred months be­fore Cait­lyn Jen­ner’s tran­si­tion. She was for­merly known as Bruce Jen­ner, the 1976 Olympic de­cathlon cham­pion and Kim Kar­dashian’s step­fa­ther.

Howe’s stepchil­dren have filed suit against Jen­ner claim­ing they’ve suf­fered enor­mous dam­ages.

The law­suit by Dana Red­mond and Wil­liam Howe does not spec­ify how much they are seek­ing. They claim Jen­ner was neg­li­gent when she col­lided with their step­mother’s car, caus­ing them and other rel­a­tives “great losses.”

At­tor­neys for Howe’s step-chil­dren, Dana Red­mond and Wil­liam Howe, did not im­me­di­ately re­turn email mes­sages seek­ing com­ment.

Another woman, Jes­sica Stein­dorff, who was driv­ing the Prius, also filed suit seek­ing un­spec­i­fied dam­ages. A phone mes­sage for Stein­dorff’s at­tor­ney, Brad Si­mon, was not im­me­di­ately re­turned on Thurs­day.

Jen­ner’s tran­si­tion has played out in public over the past sev­eral months. She’s vowed to use her to celebrity plat­form to urge ac­cep­tance for oth­ers who are trans­gen­der.

AP

In this Wed­nes­day, July 15 file photo, Cait­lyn Jen­ner ac­cepts the Arthur Ashe award for courage at the ESPY Awards at the Mi­crosoft Theater in Los An­ge­les.

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