Will Venus Williams be vindicated? Palm Beach Gardens police have confirmed that the tennis pro “lawfully” entered the intersection where she was involved in a fatal car accident last month, contrary to previous reports claiming she was at fault.
Surveillance footage obtained from a residential community near the scene of the June 9 accident shows Williams coming to a stop before another car slams into her SUV. Linda Barson, the driver of the other vehicle, sustained injuries in the crash and her husband, Jerome Barson, 78, died two weeks later.
Us Weekly has obtained a copy of the police report that states, “After the initial investigation was conducted, new evidence into the incident was located. Video surveillance footage was obtained from a community south of the intersection which recorded the traffic crash. Based on the evidence obtained in the ongoing investigation, it has been determined the vehicle driven by Venus Williams lawfully entered the intersection on a circular green traffic circle and attempted to travel north through the intersection to BallenIsles Drive.”
The report continues, “As Williams was traveling through the intersection, a Nissan Altima entered the intersection traveling south, and made a left turn in front of Williams’ vehicle, causing her to stop advancing through the intersection to avoid a collision. After the Nissan had proceeded past Williams, Williams then started to proceed north through the intersection. … The vehicle driven by Linda Barson was traveling west on Northlake Blvd, in the outside lane, approaching a steady red traffic signal. The traffic signal then cycled to green, at which time Barson continued westbound and entered the intersection. The front end of Barson’s vehicle collided with the right front of Williams’ vehicle.”
The Palm Beach Gardens police previously said that Williams was found to be “at fault” in the crash for “violating the right of way” of the other vehicle involved. The earlier report said witnesses claimed to have seen Williams run a red light.
The revelation could not have come at a better time for Williams, who become overwhelmed with emotions during a Wimbledon post-match press conference earlier this week when she was asked about her June 30 Facebook statement regarding the incident.
“Venus, I saw that you wrote on your Facebook some very heartfelt words about the accident. Is there anything else that you just would want to say about that?” a journalist asked during the press conference.
“That I’m… that there are really no words to describe how devastating and…yeah, I’m completely speechless. And it’s just…yeah, I mean, I’m just…,” the athlete responded, shaking her head and fighting back tears. Moments later, Williams whispered, “Maybe I should go,” before wiping away tears and leaving.
Williams, who won her latest match on July 7 and is scheduled to face another opponent on July 10 for a spot in the quarterfinals, is facing a lawsuit from Barson’s family.