- 79-year-old passenger in other car dies two weeks later
- Crash remains under investigation; Williams not charged
Venus Williams caused a car crash this month that led to the death of a passenger in another vehicle, according to a police report released on Thursday.
Palm Beach Gardens police say witnesses told investigators that Williams ran a red light in her Toyota Sequoia SUV, causing a 9 June crash that injured 79-year-old Jerome Barson, who died two weeks later.
The report says a Hyundai Accent driven by Barson’s wife, Linda, crashed into the side of Williams’ SUV. Linda Barson told investigators she was approaching the intersection when her light turned green and she was unable to stop in time. Linda Barson suffered unspecified moderate injuries.
Williams, who turned 37 on 17 June, was not hurt.
She told investigators she had entered the six-lane intersection on a green light but had been forced to stop midpoint by traffic ahead of her. She said she did not see the Barsons’ car when she crossed into their lanes.
The crash remains under investigation. Williams, who has a residence in Palm Beach Gardens, has not been cited or charged. The report says the former world No1 was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Williams’ attorney, Malcolm Cunningham, said in a statement that Williams expressed “her deepest condolences to the family who lost a loved one”.
Michael Steinger, the attorney for Linda Barson, had no immediate comment.
Venus Williams has won seven Grand Slam singles titles, including five at Wimbledon. She revealed in 2011 that she had been diagnosed with Sjogren’s syndrome, an autoimmune disease.
Her ranking fell outside the top 100 as she coped with her illness and injuries.