MALIBU, California — Olympic gold medalist and Kardashian family patriarch Bruce Jenner was behind the wheel of an SUV involved in a multi-vehicle crash in Malibu that killed a woman and injured seven others, authorities said.
The moment of impact was captured by celebrity photographers who quickly posted the images on the Internet on Saturday, but Los Angeles County Sheriff’s officials said there was no indication Jenner was being chased by paparazzi at the time of the crash on the Pacific Coast Highway.
“Being a celebrity, he is often followed by paparazzi. He was aware of that, and it doesn’t appear he took any evasive action to avoid the paparazzi,” Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Philip Brooks said.
Brooks said Jenner cooperated with investigators, passed a field sobriety test and voluntarily submitted a blood sample to determine whether he was intoxicated, Brooks said.
“He did not appear intoxicated or under the influence of anything at the time,” the sergeant said.
Jenner’s publicist, Alan Nierob, said Jenner wasn’t hurt, but he offered no additional details.
Jenner was going north when his black Cadillac Escalade rear-ended a Lexus sedan that had just struck the back of a black Toyota Prius, Brooks said. The Lexus veered into oncoming traffic and collided head-on with a black Hummer.
The driver of the Lexus – a woman in her 70s – was pronounced dead at the scene.
Investigators were trying to determine who or what triggered the crash; they plan to look at the cellphone records of all four drivers and check for any video evidence, sheriff’s Cmdr. Michael Parker said.
Photos of the crash site showed the white Lexus mangled in the front and back, facing the Hummer, which had a heavily damaged engine and its hood popped open. Jenner’s Escalade, which was pulling an off-road vehicle, had a damaged front end.
The crash occurred about a mile west of Pepperdine University, on a stretch of the famous coastal highway sandwiched between the beach and the Santa Monica Mountains.
It comes at a time of widespread talk that Jenner, 65, is becoming a woman.
Though Jenner himself has declined public comment, those in his inner circles have not challenged the mounting speculation that he is preparing to live as a woman and perhaps will appear in a new reality series about his transition.
Jenner’s appearance has gradually become more traditionally feminine, and his mother, Esther Jenner, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that she had spoken with her son about his private and public journey.
Jenner won a gold medal in the men’s decathlon at the 1976 Summer Games, but he is best known to a younger generation as Kim Kardashian’s stepfather. He and Kris Jenner frequently appeared on the reality series “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” along with their children, and the pair’s relationship and its troubles have been featured prominently on the show.
The two finalized their divorce late last year, ending 23 years of marriage.