Former Olympian Bruce Jenner was a driver in a multivehicle crash Saturday on Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu that left one person dead and five injured, authorities said.
A two-mile stretch of the highway was closed for hours in both directions near Corral Canyon Road after the crash occurred shortly after noon.
The lanes were finally cleared and reopened shortly after 9 p.m.
Jenner, whose apparent transition from male to female has drawn intense media coverage in recent days, was being followed by paparazzi when the collision occurred, but it’s doubtful he was trying to outrun them, said L.A. County Sheriff's Sgt. Philip Brooks.
Brooks described a chain reaction involving four cars:
A woman driving northbound in a Toyota Prius slowed down or stopped for reasons that were unclear. An elderly woman driving a Lexus sedan rear-ended the Prius.
Jenner, who was driving a black Cadillac Escalade sport utility vehicle that was hauling a trailer carrying an off-road vehicle, then rear-ended the Lexus.
The impact propelled the Lexus into oncoming traffic, where a Hummer traveling southbound slammed into the Lexus. The driver of the Lexus, whom authorities declined to identify, died at the scene. Both the front and rear ends of the Lexus were severely damaged.
After the crash, a swelling crowd of onlookers and paparazzi led rescuers to call in reinforcements to manage the scene.
“It was a nightmare,” Brooks said.
Several guests at the nearby Malibu Beach RV Park walked down to the crash site and watched as authorities pulled the victim's body from the mangled remains of the Lexus.
Photos on the celebrity gossip website TMZ showed Jenner, in sunglasses and a baseball cap, surveying the wreckage. Three photos showed the moment of impact when he rear-ended the Lexus.
Jenner passed a field sobriety test and took a blood-alcohol test, Brooks said. The results were not immediately available. Investigators plan to examine his mobile phone records to see whether he was using the phone when the crash occurred.
Jenner spokesman Alan Nierob declined to explain what happened.
“I really don't have any details relating to this accident other than confirming [that] my client was uninjured,” Nierob said in an email.
Five people, including three children, were injured in the wreck, but none was seriously hurt, said Lt. Jennifer Seetoo, watch commander of the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff's Station in Agoura.
By nightfall, the highway was still closed to traffic just west of Pepperdine University and wasn't expected to reopen until at least 9 p.m.
At 6:30 p.m., a motorist plowed through the road closure on Pacific Coast Highway and crashed into two of the four vehicles involved in the earlier collision, said sheriff’s Cmdr. Mike Parker. The driver was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving.
Times staff writers Christie D'Zurilla and Amanda Covarrubias contributed to this report.
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