Caitlyn Jenner: Sheriff's Department Recommending Vehicular Manslaughter Charges in Fatal Crash

The reality star was involved in a February crash that killed a woman.

ByABC News
August 20, 2015, 1:48 PM

— -- The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is set to recommend a charge of misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter against Caitlyn Jenner for the February crash that resulted in the death of a 69-year-old woman, authorities told ABC station KABC.

The Sheriff's Department said it will present the recommendations next week to the District Attorney’s Office, which will decide whether to file charges against Jenner, who was then known as Bruce before her transition.

The 65-year-old former Olympian and reality star was involved in the Feb. 7 crash that resulted in the death of Kim Howe, after Jenner's Escalade hit Howe’s white Lexus, causing the car to roll into oncoming traffic, where she hit a Humvee, the Sheriff's Department at the time.

The Sheriff's Department is recommending the charge "based upon Jenner traveling at an unsafe speed for the prevailing roadway conditions," the office told ABC News.

There was no evidence that Jenner was impaired or texting, which could have led detectives to recommend a more serious charge, sources close to the investigation told ABC News.

A misdemeanor could technically result in jail time, but experts have told ABC News that, even if convicted, Jenner would be unlikely to face jail time for a misdemeanor charge because of her clean record. But it's clear, authorities say, the chain-reaction accident began with her.

In addition, Jenner was served with a wrongful death lawsuit in May from Howe's stepchildren. Since that filing, Jenner's legal team has asked the court to dismiss the civil case.

The stepchildren's lawsuit states the two -- William Howe, 57, and Dana Redmond, 60 -- suffered "enormous damages and losses" after Howe's death. Jenner's attorneys responded in court, saying the two are "financially independent" and adult children.

Jenner, who was uninjured in the crash, released a statement the day after the incident, saying, "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. It is a devastating tragedy and I cannot pretend to imagine what this family is going through at this time."

Jenner cooperated with investigators, authorities said, and passed all field tests at the time of the incident.

A rep for Jenner declined to comment.