Venus Williams Settles Over Fatal Crash
The crash occurred after Williams got stuck in a busy intersection. She was cleared of blame by police, and now this settlement closes the episode.
Venus Williams has settled a wrongful-death lawsuit with the family of a man who died as a result of a car crash in Florida involving the U.S. tennis star.
Williams has previously described the crash as “devastating” and broke down in tears during a news conference at the Wimbledon tennis tournament in London last year when she was asked about it.
Police had previously cleared Williams of wrongdoing over the crash in Palm Beach in which Jerome Barson, 78, suffered “massive” injuries.
Bodycam footage released shortly after the incident showed a cop telling Williams that he believed she was at fault for the crash, but he was not citing her for the crash, as she had come out on a green light but got “stuck” in the intersection, at which point the lights changed, giving another vehicle the right of way.
The cop is heard saying: “You just got stuck in a bad situation there, so I’d just let the insurance companies work it out.”
Now the BBC reports that court documents show Williams and the family of the deceased man reached a settlement last week.
Further details were not revealed.
Barson’s wife, Linda, who was driving the couple’s vehicle at the time of the fatal accident, was also cleared by police investigators. Police also said factors such as drugs, alcohol, or mobile-phone distractions were not being investigated.
The BBC says a report into the incident shows it was triggered after an unidentified third vehicle illegally crossed Williams’ path as she tried to move through a busy main road on a green light near her home.
This, the report said, set off a chain of events that ended with the vehicle driven by Barson’s wife slamming into the passenger side of Williams’ SUV.
Barson was subsequently taken to a hospital, but died two weeks later from his injuries.
Venus wrote on Facebook after the crash in July 2017, “I am devastated and heartbroken by this accident. My heartfelt condolences go out to the family and friends of Jerome Barson and I continue to keep them in my thoughts and prayers.”