Bruce Jenner may have been on his cell phone texting when his Cadillac Escalade smashed into a Lexus on California’s Pacific Coast Highway Saturday, killing a 69-year-old woman. At least, that’s what police want to find out, and they may seek a search warrant for Jenner’s phone in hopes of finding out.
Jenner was driving the third car in a three-way collision on the scenic highway in Malibu, California. The Lexus, driven by Kim Howe of Calabasas, had come to a full stop after rear-ending a Toyota Prius. Why the Prius had come to a stop remains unknown as police try to figure out what set off the fatal, multi-car pile-up.
Police say that skid marks on the road show that the 65-year-old Jenner attempted to stop his SUV, which was towing an off-road vehicle, before plowing into the Lexus as he headed north on the narrow highway.
But he apparently could not stop in time and the impact of his rear-end collision with the vehicle sent it spinning into the southbound lane where an oncoming Hummer SUV smashed into the Lexus head-on, killing Howe.
While initial suspicions focused on the possibility that Jenner was attempting to flee from paparazzi who were tailing him — suspicions fueled by the fact that numerous paparazzi photos captured the accident and its immediate aftermath — police quickly discounted that theory.
“There is no indication that Bruce Jenner was being chased by paparazzi at the time of the crash,” Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department spokesperson Lt. John Lecrivain said.
“There was a possibility that paparazzi was following him at the time of the crash, but that is a very regular occurrence, and (there is) no indication at this time it was a contributing factor of the crash.”
Best known to the current generation as Kim Kardashian’s allegedly transgender stepfather, the 1976 Olympic decathlon gold medalist has been the subject of heightened paparazzi and tabloid media attention since rumors leaked within the past two weeks that he was undergoing a gender “transition.”
But was Jenner paying more attention to texting than to driving at the time of the fatal crash?
Police say they have asked Jenner, and all of the surviving drivers involved with the four-vehicle accident, to voluntarily surrender their phones. Other reports say that the police have already sought a warrant to search both Jenner’s phone and his cell phone records.
But according to Sergeant Phillip Brooks of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, even with those records, police will have a difficult ask determining if Bruce Jenner was indeed texting at the exact moment of the tragic accident.