Venus Williams at fault in car crash that led to death of 78-year-old man, police say

Venus Williams at fault in car crash that led to death of 78-year-old man, police say
Venus Williams pictured at the French Open tennis tournament in Paris on May 31
Source: Petr David Josek/AP
Venus Williams pictured at the French Open tennis tournament in Paris on May 31
Source: Petr David Josek/AP

Florida police say that tennis star Venus Williams is at fault in a June car crash that later caused the death of a 78-year-old man, the BBC reported Friday. Williams has not been cited or charged in the incident.

CNN reported on Friday that, according to a police report, the accident took place June 9 in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. The victim, Jerome Barson, was a passenger in a car driven by his wife, Linda Barson, at the time of the accident.

According to the report, Barson said she was driving through an intersection when Williams’ car crossed in front of her, CNN reported, and that she was “unable to avoid” hitting Williams’ car.

Venus Williams pictured during a match at the Italian Open tennis tournament in Rome
Source: Alessandra Tarantino/AP

Williams reportedly said that she had been stopped at the intersection while waiting for other traffic, and that she did not see Barson’s car before crossing the intersection. According to the report, Williams was traveling an estimated five mph at the time of the crash.

Jerome Barson sustained injuries in the crash and died at a Florida hospital two weeks later. According to the police report, Williams was found to be “at fault for violating the right of way of [the Barsons],” CNN reported.

According to the BBC, the report said that there were no other factors — like drugs, alcohol or cellphone distraction — in the crash.

In a statement provided to CNN, Williams’ attorney, Malcolm Cunningham, said that “Ms. Williams entered the intersection on a green light. The police report estimates that Ms. Williams was traveling at five mph when Mrs. Barson crashed into her. Authorities did not issue Ms. Williams with any citations or traffic violations. This is an unfortunate accident and Venus expresses her deepest condolences to the family who lost a loved one.”

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Anna Swartz

Anna is a staff writer for Mic covering breaking news. She can be reached at aswartz@mic.com.

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