L.A. County prosecutors are now determining whether to file charges against Caitlyn Jenner, who was involved in a deadly chain-reaction crash on Pacific Coast Highway in February.
Los Angeles County sheriff’s detectives on Tuesday presented the case to prosecutors that could lead to a misdemeanor manslaughter charge.
Sheriff’s Det. Richard Curry told The Times last week that Jenner was driving at an unsafe speed Feb. 7 when her Cadillac Escalade rear-ended Kim Howe’s Lexus, sending it into oncoming traffic and ultimately leading to the 69-year-old driver’s death.
Jenner was pulling an off-road vehicle on a trailer and had to suddenly slow as vehicles in front stopped. Curry said Jenner was complying with the speed limit but moving too fast for the road conditions that day. Howe died at the scene after Jenner’s SUV hit her car and sent it into the path of a Hummer coming in the opposite direction.
Typically, a single misdemeanor manslaughter charge could carry a sentence of a year in jail, though legal experts say a jail term would be unlikely.
The deadly crash near Corral Canyon Road came before Jenner announced her gender transition. At the time, she was Bruce Jenner, best known as the father figure of the Kardashian family and 1976 Olympic decathlon gold medal winner.
Jenner has called the crash a “devastating tragedy,” saying, “I cannot pretend to imagine what this family is going through at this time. I am praying for them.”
Legal experts describe the charge Jenner could face as low-level. “Basically, anyone can get into this situation behind the wheel like Ms. Jenner. There is no drugs or alcohol involved. This is just unsafe driving,” said attorney Dmitry Gorin, a former Los Angeles County prosecutor. “I remember a law professor getting charged.... If you commit a road infraction that results in a death, that becomes a traffic misdemeanor manslaughter.”