Venus Williams will not be charged over an accident that killed a passenger in another car in June, the Palm Beach Gardens Police Department confirms to Us Weekly.
According to a police report obtained by Us, an investigation concluded that the 37-year-old tennis pro and Linda Barson, the driver of the other vehicle, should not face charges as neither of them were at fault in the crash that killed Linda’s husband, Jerome Barson.
Williams’ 2010 Toyota Sequoia was T-boned by Linda’s 2016 Hyundai Accent at approximately 1:13 p.m. on June 9 at an intersection in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Jerome, 78, was a passenger in his wife’s car and died 13 days later from complications of blunt traumatic injuries. Linda, 68, suffered a broken arm and other injuries, while Williams was uninjured.
Police concluded that an unidentified third vehicle trapped the athlete’s SUV in the intersection as she tried to cross a busy six-lane highway near her home. Williams was initially found at fault but, upon further investigation, authorities clarified in July that she had lawfully entered the intersection.
Williams spoke out about the crash in a Facebook post on June 30. “I am devastated and heartbroken by this accident,” she wrote. “My heartfelt condolences go out to the family and friends of Jerome Barson and I continue to keep them in my thoughts and prayers.”
The Barson family’s attorney, Michael Steinger, claimed to the Associated Press that the Palm Beach Gardens Police Department’s conclusions are wrong and said his client will continue to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against Williams. “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 to the news agency. “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.”