Bruce Jenner sued over fatal car accident

Published 7:10 PM EDT, Fri May 1, 2015

Story highlights

The stepchildren of a woman killed in the accident have filed a lawsuit

Bruce Jenner's SUV hit a car and pushed it into the path of an oncoming car, authorities say

(CNN) —  

Bruce Jenner says he’s cooperating with police as they investigate a fatal car crash involving the reality TV star.

Jenner, who publicly spoke to ABC’s Diane Sawyer on April 24 for the first time about being transgender, said at the time of the accident that he was cooperating with police as they investigated the fatal crash. It occurred on a tricky stretch of the highway, where the road is narrow and twisting.

Kimberly Howe was driving her Lexus on Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, California, when Jenner struck the rear of her car, “propelling her vehicle into the opposite lanes of traffic,” according to the lawsuit filed by her stepchildren, Dana Redmond and William Howe. “Ms. Howe’s vehicle was then struck head-on by another vehicle, killing her.”

The lawsuit calls for unspecified damages and the cost of the suit.

Reached by CNN on Friday, May 1, Jenner publicist Alan Nierob said he had no comment regarding the lawsuit.

Jenner earlier told police that paparazzi were chasing him when he was in the wreck, but investigators have said there’s no sign photographers following him played a role in the crash.

“My heartfelt and deepest sympathies go out to the family and loved ones, and to all of those who were involved or injured in this terrible accident,” Jenner said in a statement released a day after the February 7 accident. “It is a devastating tragedy, and I cannot pretend to imagine what this family is going through at this time. I am praying for them. I will continue to cooperate in every way possible.”

Jenner first catapulted to fame after winning the 1976 Olympic decathlon and now draws the celebrity spotlight for his role in the “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” reality show and his decision to talk publicly about his gender identity.

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Authorities haven’t determined who was at fault in the Saturday crash, Sgt. Phillip Brooks of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department told CNN Sunday. They also haven’t released details about the victim.

He was driving a black Cadillac SUV on Saturday that was the third vehicle involved in a multiple rear-end collision, Brooks said.

The first vehicle was a black Prius that stopped short, CNN affiliate KCAL reported, citing deputies. Behind it was a white Lexus sedan that also hit its brakes.

Jenner’s Escalade was towing a trailer with an all-terrain vehicle on it when it ran into the Lexus from behind, Brooks said. The Lexus spun into oncoming traffic and was hit by a Hummer H2.

01:24 - Source: KCAL
Bruce Jenner involved in fatal crash

The department later opened a vehicular manslaughter investigation, according to CNN affiliate KTLA. The investigation will focus on everyone in the case, not just one person, a source told CNN legal analyst Mark Geragos. When contacted Friday, however, sheriff’s representative Nicole Nishida wouldn’t confirm that authorities had opened a vehicular manslaughter case.

The sheriff’s department said on its Facebook page that the surviving drivers were cooperating with investigators.

A deputy said Jenner voluntarily took a field sobriety test, was questioned and went home.

No information about the deceased was immediately available.

Jenner won the 1976 Olympic decathlon with a world record score for the 10-discipline event. He quickly capitalized on his success with Wheaties commercials, appearances and other ventures.

More recently, he has gained fame as the well-known stepfather of Khloe, Kim and Kourtney Kardashian on their family’s E! entertainment network reality show.

E! said Jenner was not shooting for “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” on the day of the accident.

CNN’s Cheri Mossburg, Topher Gauk-Roger, Rachel Wells, AnneClaire Stapleton, Janet DiGiacomo, Rachel Wells, Paul Vercammen, Paul Matadeen, Christie Bear, Vivian Kuo and Catherine E. Shoichet contributed to this report.