Caitlyn Jenner has a “50/50” chance of being charged with misdemeanor-level manslaughter in connection with a February car crash in Malibu, Calif., investigators told Variety in a report published today.
Detectives with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department have completed a six-month investigation of the accident and will present their findings next week to the district attorney, who will decide whether to bring charges, Variety reports.
The former Olympic athlete, now a transgender star of reality TV, was driving down Pacific Coast Highway February 7 “at an unsafe speed,” as Variety puts it, when her Cadillac Escalade became part of a chain-reaction crash. She was not exceeding the speed limit but was going too fast for conditions, according to the report.
A Lexus driven by Kimberly Howe rear-ended a Prius driven by Jessica Steindorff; then Jenner’s vehicle rear-ended Howe’s car, pushing it into oncoming traffic, where it was struck head-on by a Hummer. Howe died in the crash, and several people were injured. Howe’s stepchildren have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Jenner, and Steindorff has filed a personal injury suit against her.
There was “nothing really egregious” in Jenner’s conduct, Detective Richard Curry of the sheriff’s department told Variety, so there’s a “50/50” chance that she will be charged. The usual sentence for misdemeanor manslaughter is one year in the county jail.
The accident occurred before Jenner’s public coming-out as transgender. That announcement came in an April television interview with ABC’s Diane Sawyer.
Jenner has been cooperative throughout the accident investigation, according to the sheriff’s department, and she has issued a statement of sympathy to the victims and their families.