Should Caitlyn Jenner have been Charged with Vehicular Manslaughter
The incident she will not want on her campaign slogan
Caitlyn Jenner, formally Bruce Jenner shot to fame first as an Olympic athlete and then as step-father to the Kardashians. Throughout her life, she has been in the media, so it is not surprising that she has put her name forward as governor of California. California is a state used to electing celebrities. It was here Arnold Schwarzenegger launched his political career.
As the campaign gets underway the mud has started being thrown. The latest controversy comes as Jenner states her friends have moved from LA because of all the homeless.
There is however a bigger scandal, that Jenner must be praying doesn’t reappear. The incident where she ran into another car and killed a woman, walking away without charge despite many saying she was not driving safely.
The Day Kim Howe Died
On 7th February 2015, Jenner was driving too quickly for the conditions of the road. Jenner later denied this, stating the paparazzi had been pursuing her all day and she was “visually distracted,”
Her SUV, which was towing an off terrain vehicle collided with Kim Howe’s Lexus where it hit a Toyota driven by Jessica Steindorff. The Lexus was then pushed out into oncoming traffic. The Lexus was hit by a Hummer and Howe was pronounced dead on the scene. Five children and two other adults were taken to hospital, Jenner was unhurt in the accident.
The initial investigation.
Jenner cooperated at the scene, taking a sobriety test and passing. The police initially wanted to charge her with vehicular manslaughter. After investigation, in September 2015, it was found that there was not enough evidence to prosecute.
We believed from the start that a thorough and objective investigation would clear Caitlyn of any criminal wrongdoing. — Blair Berk, Jenner’s attorney.
William Howe and Dana Redmond, the stepchildren of Kim Howe then filed a civil suit against Jenner, for her part in their mother’s death. Criticism of the pair stated that they were never close to their stepmother and this was a publicity stunt. The case was settled out of court, the insurance company paying a ‘modest amount,’ not Jenner herself. In December 2015, Jenner settled another lawsuit brought about by Steindorff
Jenner Never Apologised
Although at the time of the accident Jenner issued the following statement, she never apologised to the family of the dead woman.
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. I am praying for them. I will continue to cooperate in every way possible. — statement released by Caitlyn Jenner
The family went on to speak about the incident when Jenner took part in the British show, I’m a Celebrity.
It robbed us of the chance to say goodbye to Kim. I have no ill-feelings towards Caitlyn — what happened was an accident and I wish her the best of luck in the jungle. But there was that thought that I might get to meet her and that she would say: ‘It was a terrible accident, I’m really sorry for your loss’. — Dana Redmond
Questions remain whether Jenner got away with her actions due to her celebrity status. It is clear from the incident, that she could have acted better towards the family of the dead woman. She is not the first celebrity to use her status to avoid criminal action, when involved in a fatal crash. Venus Williams and Matthew Broderick being two cleared from a long list of celebrity accidents.
As I was researching this incident one question kept coming to mind. Would Jenner have been treated differently if she had been a black woman, unknown in the public eye? I think we all know the answer.
Whether this incident has any effect on her running for governor, the voters will decide when they take to the ballot boxes on the 8th November 2022.