Skip to main content
Canada’s most-awarded newsroom for a reason
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
Canada’s most-awarded newsroom for a reason
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

In this July 15, 2015 file photo, Caitlyn Jenner accepts the Arthur Ashe award for courage at the ESPY Awards at the Microsoft Theater, in Los Angeles.

Chris Pizzello

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 in February, officials said Thursday.

Investigators determined Jenner was driving at a speed "unsafe for the prevailing road conditions," 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.

Story continues below advertisement

Jenner was unable to stop in time and her SUV rear-ended two cars, pushing a 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.

Daniel W. Vomhof, an accident reconstructionist, said the additional weight from towing a loaded trailer makes it more difficult to stop a vehicle quickly.

Sheriff's officials do not make official recommendations on charges. However, the investigation found enough evidence to support a vehicular manslaughter count, Nishida said.

If convicted, Jenner could face up to one year in county jail.

Investigators will present their findings to the district attorney by the end of August and that office will determine what, if any, charges Jenner will face.

Jenner's attorney Blair Berk declined comment.

Because Jenner has no prior record, it's unlikely she would face any jail time if convicted, said Vomhof, 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.

Story continues below advertisement

Vomhof said Jenner's experience towing a loaded trailer may come into play in determining what's ultimately charged, as well as 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 Thursday.

Story continues below advertisement

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.

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies