Bruce Jenner was already in the headlines for a high-profile gender transition when the news of a fatal car accident took everyone by sad surprise.
Jenner, a former Olympic gold medalist best known as Kim Kardashian’s stepfather, was not seriously hurt in the accident. Tragically, though, another motorist was killed.
TMZ reports that Jenner caused the accident when he rear-ended a white car in front of him, which was then pushed into oncoming traffic. A Hummer in the other lane then hit the white car, killing its driver.
In total, four cars and eight people were involved in the accident. The seven survivors each sustained some form of injury, ranging from mild to moderate. Jenner may have been the least injured of all.
Officers have reportedly assigned legal fault to Bruce Jenner, but the issue of liability might not be so clear.
We now know that Jenner was not speeding, was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and was not texting at the time of the accident. While he was smoking a cigarette, there is no other indication of negligence as of yet.
Instead, the most unusual aspect of the accident was the presence of paparazzi. Eyewitnesses told TMZ that a number of paparazzi were in hot pursuit of Jenner at the time, and their ambition might have contributed to the crash.
TMZ also reports that another vehicle may have played a role by slamming its brakes unexpectedly as Jenner attempted to avoid impact.
Auto accidents are often legally complex, especially where multiple cars and/or potential defendants are involved.
Jenner’s was the rear-ending vehicle, and he has reportedly been assigned fault for the crash. Both those facts will work against him in court. His noted wealth will make him an attractive target for litigation too. But the paparazzi may share in that liability — and their employers (if any) could end up on the hook too.
Whatever the legal outcome may be, the case is unquestionably tragic. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victim’s family, and with all those who sustained injury in the accident.