Bruce Jenner has been sued for wrongful death by the stepchildren of a Calabasas woman killed in a chain-reaction crash the reality-TV star was involved in on Pacific Coast Highway in February.
Dana Redmond and William Howe’s lawsuit, filed Friday in L.A., states they have lost love and affection and sustained “enormous damages and losses” due to the death of stepmother Kim Howe, 69, L.A. Now reported. A specific dollar amount wasn’t given.
The suit claims Jenner “violated the rules of the road” and was “negligent, careless and reckless,” according to L.A. Now.
The reality-TV star has been in the spotlight in recent weeks because of the televised April 24 interview in which he revealed that he is transitioning from male to female. The crash happened amid early buzz about the possibility that Jenner would in fact sit down with Diane Sawyer and reveal he is a transgender woman.
A report at the time said the fatal wreck had shifted Jenner’s focus away from the interview, a docu-series about his transition and indeed his entire gender-transition process, possibly delaying the larger effort.
There was speculation initially that Jenner might face criminal charges linked to the crash, perhaps vehicular manslaughter, but he has not been charged with anything. Sources told TMZ in late February that criminal charges looked unlikely.
Some details of the crash, for context: A preliminary report showed a Prius, which was ahead of Howe’s Lexus, had slowed or stopped. Jenner’s Cadillac Escalade -- which was towing an off-road vehicle -- rear-ended the Lexus, which was pushed into oncoming traffic. Howe’s car was hit head-on by a Hummer going about 50 mph, and she died at the scene. Five other people were hurt, but not seriously.
Since that report, a lawyer for the Prius driver has said that Jenner rear-ended the Prius, not the Lexus. Video footage from an MTA bus that was behind the Hummer reportedly shows him hitting both cars, and the Lexus not hitting the Prius at all, according to TMZ.
An investigation into details of the chain reaction, including how the vehicles connected and the reason the Prius slowed or stopped, was expected to take months, authorities told the Los Angeles Times in February.
The lawsuit claims Jenner was speeding, L.A. Now said. Law-enforcement sources previously told TMZ, however, that Jenner was driving below the speed limit.
Police told The Times that Howe hadn’t had a valid license since 2007, and said there was evidence Jenner had hit the brakes before hitting the Lexus. The driver of the Prius was driving on a license that had been suspended in 2013. Jenner’s license was valid.
“It is a devastating tragedy and I cannot pretend to imagine what this family is going through at this time,” Jenner said in a statement after the crash. “I am praying for them. I will continue to cooperate in every way possible.”
(Jenner indicated during his ABC interview that although he is a transgender woman, he currently prefers to be referred to with male pronouns.)