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Man Dies Two Weeks After Car Accident with Venus Williams

The police report determined that Williams was at fault for violating the driver's right of way.
© Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

According to TMZ, who first reported the story, a 78-year-old man died last week as a result of injuries sustained in a car accident with Venus Williams on June 9 at an intersection in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

Williams told officers that she entered the intersection on a green light, but traffic caused her to be stuck in the intersection as the light turned red. Police say witnesses told investigators she ran a red light. As Williams was exiting the intersection, she collided with a car being driven by Linda Barson with her husband, Jerome, as a passenger.


According to the report, Linda Barson told police she was traveling west in the right lane and approaching an intersection, slowing for a traffic light. The report states that light changed to green, and Barson said she drove through the intersection when Williams' 2010 Toyota Sequoia cut across in front of her car.

Linda Barson said she was unable to avoid crashing into Williams.

The police report estimates Williams was driving approximately 5 miles per hour when the crash occurred and says that Williams "is at fault for violating the right of way" of Barson's car. TMZ reports that Jerome Barson sustained head trauma and was taken to the hospital, where he died 14 days later. Barson's attorney released a statement concerning her "intense grief" at the loss of her husband.

"Her husband of 35 years was struck by Venus Williams, who was at fault in a car accident, which ultimately resulted in Mr. Barson being hospitalized 14 days with multiple surgeries which resulted in his death."

In a statement to CNN, Williams's attorney defended his client, suggesting that Barson initiated the accident, but called it an "unfortunate accident" and said, "Venus expresses her deepest condolences to the family who lost a loved one."

Williams was not cited for anything on the report and no charges have yet been filed. Palm Beach Gardens Major Paul Rogers said the matter is still under investigation.