On June 9, Venus Williams drove through an intersection in Palm Beach Gardens and collided with another vehicle, resulting in the injury of Linda Barson and the eventual death of Linda’s husband, Jerome.
Previously, police indicated that Williams may have been at fault in the fatal crash; however, new surveillance footage from a nearby security facility reveals that Williams was driving within the law when the crash occurred.
The video, obtained from the guard facility for a residential neighborhood, shows Williams lawfully entering the intersection when prompted by a green traffic light. The video shows her stopping quickly in the intersection to avoid another vehicle, traveling in the opposite direction and turning left in front of her. When she begins moving again, she collides with the Barson’s vehicle.
Linda Barson was driving when the collision happened. She was also acting within the law by entering the intersection on a green traffic signal as well. Because Williams entered the intersection on a green light, which evidently turned red as she waited for the left-turning vehicle to pass her, she is no longer considered at fault for the collision which later resulted in Jerome Barson’s death.
The intersection has six lanes going east to west and four going north to south. Mrs. Barson was traveling West in the right most lane before entering the intersection. Williams was traveling North and the Barson vehicle collided with the right, front part of Williams’ SUV.
The previous police report stated that Williams was “at fault for violating the right of way” for the oncoming traffic. The new statement Friday did not indicate who, if anyone, was at fault.
There have been no criminal charges filed against Williams; but, when Jerome Barson died after two weeks in the hospital, the family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against her for negligence.
Motions have been filed and granted to allow all parties to review downloaded data from both vehicles for the purposes of reviewing the crash. Williams was questioned by reporters after a match at Wimbledon and broke into tears, calling the crash “devastating” and saying that she was “completely speechless.” According to CNN, “she held her head for several moments and asked to leave the room before returning, still visibly shaken, to finish the interview.”