Venus Williams Reportedly Involved in Fatal Car Crash in Florida
By Desiree Murphy
Venus Williams was reportedly involved in a collision that sent a 78-year-old man, Jerome Barson, to a hospital in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, on June 9. Barson reportedly died 14 days later.
According to a police report obtained by TMZ, the 37-year-old tennis pro told police she was trying to make it through an intersection, but had to slow down and could not clear it due to a traffic backup.
Barson's wife, who was driving the other car, reportedly told police she was approaching the intersection westbound when Williams' SUV darted into the intersection. She claims there was not enough time to stop, which resulted in her T-boning Williams' vehicle.
Barson reportedly suffered head trauma and was sent to the hospital, where he was reportedly placed in the intensive care unit for two weeks up until his death. His wife reportedly suffered broken bones and other injuries, but survived.
TMZ also reports that the police report claims Williams is at fault for "violating the right of way of [the other driver]," but there was no evidence that she was under the influence of drugs or alcohol or distracted by an electronic device.
On Thursday, Williams' attorney, Malcolm Cunningham, released the following statement to ET:
"Ms. Williams entered the intersection on a green light. The police report estimates that Ms. Williams was traveling at 5 miles per hour 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."
The news comes less than a week before Williams is expected to play at Wimbledon. ET has reached out to her reps for comment.