Motorist killed in crash involving Bruce Jenner is identified
Authorities on Sunday identified the driver killed in a multivehicle crash in Malibu involving former Olympian Bruce Jenner.
The driver was identified as Kim Howe, 69, of Calabasas, who died at the scene following the noontime crash Saturday on Pacific Coast Highway, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said.
Howe’s Lexus slammed into a Toyota Prius that had slowed down or stopped on the highway, officials said. Jenner, driving a black Cadillac Escalade hauling a trailer with an off-road vehicle, then rear-ended the Lexus, sending it into oncoming traffic, where it collided head-on with a Hummer traveling southbound.
Authorities investigating the crash said Saturday that they plan to examine the cellphone records of Jenner and other motorists involved in the accident to see whether they were texting at the time.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Cmdr. Mike Parker said detectives and traffic investigators will examine the phone records as they try to piece together what happened.
Sgt. Philip Brooks said Sunday that a photo taken before the collision shows Bruce Jenner holding a cellphone, but it’s unclear exactly when the photo was taken.
Officials said there is no indication that paparazzi played a role in the crash.
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 Brooks.
Some paparazzi in the area captured images of the crash and its aftermath.
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.
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.
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.
In 2010, the California Legislature passed AB 2479, a law that imposed stiffer penalties — including possible jail time — for photographers who drive recklessly or block sidewalks in pursuit of celebrities and create a sense of “false imprisonment.”
Actresses Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, among others, spoke to lawmakers about high-speed car chases through Hollywood as multiple photographers competed for a celebrity image.
Some news organizations argued that because reckless driving and trespassing were already illegal, the law threatened photographers’ 1st Amendment rights.
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