R&B singer Brandy was involved in a fatal car accident last month, and it appears the songbird may have been at fault.
The smash-up took place at roughly 10:30 a.m. on Dec. 30 and was set off when Brandy's 2007 Land Rover collided with another vehicle, resulting in a deadly four-car pile-up. (Listen to the 911 recordings.)
According to California Highway Patrol Officer Leland Tang, the former Moesha star, whose full name is Brandy Norwood, was driving in the slow lane of the 405 Freeway in Los Angeles at a speed of 65 mph. The cars in front of her, however, had slowed considerably.
Whether the 28-year-old failed to notice the reduction in speed or whether her Land Rover suffered a malfunction is still being investigated by authorities. Whatever the case may have been, the star crashed into the vehicle in front of her, a 2005 Toyota Corolla, being driven by 38-year-old Los Angeles woman Awatif Aboudihaj.
That crash set off the resulting smashes: Aboudihaj subsequently hit a 1989 Toyota Tercel driven by 82-year-old Donald Lite, a collision that caused Aboudihaj's car to slide sideways, careen into the freeway's center divider and bounce back to a stop in a different lane.
It was at that time, and in that lane, that a fourth car, driven by 50-year-old Mallory Ham, broadsided Aboudihaj's vehicle.
While Ham suffered moderate injuries, Aboudihaj was found in critical condition and quickly taken to the Holy Cross Hospital in nearby Mission Hills, where, per Tang, she was treated for multiple pelvic fractures. She passed away the following evening, with her cause of death listed as major blunt force trauma.
Brandy, who was neither arrested following the incident nor found in possession of drugs or alcohol, today acknowledged the fatal accident and issued a statement through her publicist, Courtney Barnes.
"She wishes to publicly express her condolences to the family of the deceased," Barnes said. "Brandy asks that you respect the privacy of everyone involved at this time."
The California Highway Patrol is currently investigating the incident, first reported by TMZ, and is in the process of performing an evaluation on the singer's vehicle to determine whether any mechanical defects caused or contributed to the accident.
Tang said that upon completion of the tests, the CHP would reevaluate their initial investigation to determine whether there was any negligence on Brandy's part.