Venus Williams was shockingly involved in a deadly car crash in Florida on June 9 that left an elderly man dead. Police found the tennis champion was found at fault for the fatal accident that also injured his wife.
UPDATE: The family of Jerome Barson has filed a lawsuit against Venus Williams. The lawsuit, obtained by TMZ Sports, claims that Venus broke the law by failing to yield the right of way, going through a red light and driving too fast while distracted, “recklessly created a situation where the accident was unavoidable.” Venus claims she was going about 5mph at the time of the crash, and police found no evidence of texting while driving. According to the Barsons’ lawsuit, the crash was so brutal that their car 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 lawsuit seeks unspecified damages, including loss of companionship for the Barson family, loss of earnings, pain and suffering, and expenses for Jerome’s medical treatment and funeral.
“At this point we are attempting to both preserve the evidence and gain access to evidence,” the Barson family attorney Michael Steinger told Good Morning America. “There were video cameras placed at guard houses where Ms. Williams lives, police have refused after multiple requests to turn those over to us, and we would like to see visual portrayal of the accident on those videos. They have impounded all the vehicles and have impeded our ability to do our investigation and move forward. Not sure what their reasoning is. They have refused to turn them over to us at this point.”
ORIGINAL: Jerome Barson, 78, died as a result of a car crash on June 9 found to be the fault of tennis superstar Venus Williams. Venus, according to a police report obtained by TMZ, “is at fault for violating the right of way of [the other driver].” The elderly man suffered internal bleeding, a fractured spine, and massive internal organ damage as a result of the accident. he was transported to an ICU, and passed away two weeks later on wife Linda Barson’s 68th birthday. Linda, who was driving the car at the time of the wreck, suffered a cracked sternum and multiple broken bones. She was taken to the same hospital as her husband and survived.
Linda told police that she was approaching the intersection in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida westbound, when Venus’ car, going northbound, “darted” into the intersection. The woman said that there was no time to stop her car, and she T-boned Venus’ vehicle. Venus told police that she was attempting to make it through the intersection, but traffic backed up on the other side required her slow down to a crawl in the middle of the intersection. She was going approximately 5mph at the time of the crash.
Venus was not arrested, and it’s unclear if she’s been charged with anything after police found her at fault for the accident, though she likely won’t face charges; for someone to be charged criminally in a car accident, there needs to be proof of reckless or wanton conduct.” Police wrote in their report that there was no evidence that Venus was under the influence of drugs or alcohol during the crash, or that she was distracted by an electronic device.
Venus expressed her sympathies to the Barson family via statement: “This is an unfortunate accident and Venus expresses her deepest condolences to the family who lost a loved one,” said her attorney, Malcolm Cunningham.
This story is still developing. HollywoodLife.com will keep you updated when more information becomes available.
HollywoodLifers, our thoughts are with Jerome’s family during this difficult time.