On Thursday, it was reported that tennis superstar Venus Williams was found to be at fault in a car accident that claimed the life of 78-year-old Jerome Barson, who died two weeks after suffering injuries in the collision. His wife Linda Barson, who was driving, said she had a green light when her car T-boned Williams’ vehicle in an intersection. Now Mrs. Barson is suing the 5-time Wimbledon champion for wrongful death.
Mrs. Barson’s attorney, Michael Steinger, appeared on “Good Morning America” on Friday, saying that Mrs. Barson is devastated over the loss of her husband after “hoping and praying for his ability to live.” He said that in pursuing the lawsuit against Williams, he is hoping that police will turn over videos and any other records that could provide further information. So far, he said, police have refused to provide anything to him.
While police determined that Williams was at fault for the accident, they have not charged her with any offense. Officers did not believe that her actions rose to the level of recklessness, as there was no evidence that she was under the influence of any substances or distracted by a phone or other device.
Williams has claimed that she had a green light when she entered an intersection, but had to stop due to traffic and then the light turned red. When she was able to move forward again, she didn’t see the Barsons’ vehicle coming.
The police report for the accident noted that Williams violated the other car’s right of way.
Williams claims that she was only going 5 mph when the crash occurred, but it was the Barsons vehicle that plowed into Williams’ car, resulting in Mr. Barson’s fatal injuries. According to the complaint, obtained by TMZ, the crash caused the Barsons’ car to be “crushed, the front windshield shattered, the airbags deployed, there was crush damage to the rear on the driver’s side, and the back window was shattered.”
Williams’ attorney, Malcolm Cunnigham, said in a statement,”Ms. Williams entered the intersection on a green light … Authorities did not issue Ms. Williams with any citations or traffic violations…. This is an unfortunate accident and Venus expresses her deepest condolences to the family who lost a loved one.”
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