Tennis star Venus Williams is facing a wrongful death lawsuit after police determined she was at fault in a fatal car crash earlier this month that killed a senior citizen.
The family of 78-year-old Jerome Barson, who died two weeks after the June 9 crash in Florida, is suing Williams for unspecified damages.
As Crime Online previously reported, the fatal accident occurred when Williams’s SUV collided with a Hyundai driven by Barson’s wife, Linda. Jerome Barson was a passenger in the vehicle.
Linda Barson reportedly told police in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, that as she was driving through an intersection with the right of way, Williams’ SUV suddenly darted into the intersection, causing the collision.
Williams reportedly told police that she had gotten stuck in the intersection when traffic ahead of her slowed down, exposing her car.
According to the police report, Williams was found “at fault for violating the right of way of [the other driver],” although she was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
The Associated Press reports that witnesses told the Palm Beach Gardens police that Williams ran a red light.
Williams’ lawyer, Malcolm Cunningham, gave a statement to the New York Times about the accident, which reads:
“Ms. Williams entered the intersection on a green light. The police report estimates that Ms. Williams was traveling at 5 m.p.h. 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.”
Cunningham also noted that Williams was not ticketed or charged in the accident.
According to the new wrongful death lawsuit obtained by TMZ, Jerome Barson was rushed to the hospital with head trauma, a fractured spine and massive internal bleeding and organ damage. He remained in an ICU unit for two weeks until he succumbed to his injuries and died on June 22, his wife’s 68th birthday. The couple had been married for 33 years.
Linda Barson was also reportedly severely injured in the crash, but survived. According to the lawsuit filed by the estate’s attorney Michael Steinger, the impact of the collision was so traumatic that the Barsons’ vehicle was “crushed, the front windshield shattered, the airbags deployed, there was crush damage to the rear on the driver’s side, and the back window was shattered.”
The victim’s family is seeking an unspecified amount of damages in the lawsuit, which includes loss of earnings, pain and suffering, medical and funeral expenses, and loss of companionship.
According to the New York Times, the seven-time Grand Slam title winner Williams is expected to play in her 20th Wimbledon tournament beginning on Monday.
Feature photo: Associated Press