No Charges For Venus Williams, Other Driver In Fatal Wreck
Venus Williams and the other driver will not be charge in a fatal collision that killed a man in June.
On Wednesday, police announced their investigation showed neither party was at fault in the tragic accident that claimed the life of 78-year-old Jerome Barson.
Despite the results of the investigation, the Barson family still plans to move forward with their wrongful death lawsuit against Venus.
Via the Associated Press:
The Palm Beach Gardens police report said an unidentified third vehicle illegally cut off Williams as she tried to cross a busy six-lane highway near her home, setting off a chain of events that ended with a sedan driven by Linda Barson, 68, slamming into the passenger side of Williams’ SUV.
Barson’s 78-year-old husband, Jerome, died 13 days after the June 9 crash and she suffered a broken arm and other injuries. Williams, 38, was not hurt. Jerome Barson’s estate had filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Williams, seeking unspecified damages.
Officer David Dowling, the lead investigator, said in his report that video from a nearby security camera shows Williams legally entered the intersection from a road exiting her gated neighborhood on a green light. As she started to cross, a dark sedan cut her off, forcing her to stop. When the sedan cleared her path, Williams began moving forward in her 2010 Toyota Sequoia but that put her in the path of the Barsons, who now had the green light. The Barsons’ 2016 Hyundai Accent hit Williams’ SUV at 40 mph (65 kph).
Dowling said in his report that state law required Williams to exit the intersection and that even though Linda Barson had the green light she was obligated to make sure the intersection was clear.
The Barson family’s attorney, Michael Steinger, said Dowling’s conclusions are wrong and the suit will be pursued.
“Ms. Williams clearly violated our client’s right of way because our client had a green light, as indicated in each and every police report issued in this case to date,” Steinger said in a statement. “The report is further inaccurate because the video surveillance does not indicate the color of Ms. Williams’ light and therefore does not support the police department’s conclusion.”
Williams’ attorney, Malcolm Cunningham, didn’t immediately return an email seeking comment.
Such a tragic situation.