An attorney representing the driver of the lead car in a chain-reaction crash involving Bruce Jenner is disputing the official but preliminary account of the incident and says his client was hit by Jenner’s vehicle.
Jessica Steindorff, 29, was driving her Toyota Prius to a meeting in Zuma Beach Saturday afternoon when the fatal crash occurred on Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu.
The woman's attorney, Robert Simon, said that Jenner’s Cadillac Escalade rear-ended a white Lexus that was behind his client's car.
After the Lexus was pushed into oncoming traffic and was hit head-on by another vehicle, Jenner’s SUV continued on and hit Steindorff’s car, Simon said.
A Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department source familiar with the investigation but not authorized to speak publicly said a witness corroborated Simon’s account. Authorities initially said that it appeared Jenner’s car hit the Lexus, which then hit Steindorff’s Prius.
Four vehicles were involved in the crash altogether. The driver of the white Lexus, Kim Howe, 69, was killed when her vehicle was struck head-on by a Hummer H2 heading in the opposite direction. The driver of the Hummer has not been publicly identified.
Howe’s California driver’s license had expired in 2007 and Steindorff’s had been suspended in 2013, DMV records show. Steindorff’s license was suspended without her knowledge after she failed to appear in court for a speeding ticket, her attorney said.
Detectives said that Steindorff could potentially be prosecuted for misdemeanor driving without a license.
“We haven’t acted yet because it is an ongoing investigation,” Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Det. Richard Curry said.
The woman told investigators she stopped because traffic had backed up from a traffic light up the road, Curry said. Investigators on Monday monitored the traffic flow and did see a similar backup, Curry said.
Curry said investigators had determined that, contrary to initial reports, a photo taken of Jenner in his Escalade showed the reality TV star and former Olympian holding a cigarette and not a cellphone.
Nonetheless, the department has requested that all drivers involved in the deadly collision produce their cellphone records to verify they were not using a phone at the time of crash.
Jenner said through a spokesman that he wasn't using a phone and volunteered his phone records.
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