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A police report says tennis star Venus Williams is responsible for a Florida car crash that sent an elderly man to the hospital before his eventual death earlier this month. On Thursday (June 29), the athlete released a statement calling the tragedy an “unfortunate accident” and explaining her side of the story.

Jerome Barson, 78, suffered head trauma in the June 9 collision and died two weeks later in an intensive care unit Sunday, TMZ reported Thursday. Barson’s wife was reportedly also hospitalized for injuries, including broken bones.

According to TMZ, Barson’s wife told police she T-boned Williams’ SUV traveling westbound in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., after the athlete abruptly entered an intersection heading northbound.

Police did not believe she’d been distracted by a device or under the influence of drugs or alcohol. But the report allegedly said: “(Williams) is at fault for violating the right of way of (the other driver).”

According to TMZ, Williams told cops she was trying to make it through the intersection but there was a traffic backup and she had to slow down to a crawl, with her car exposed in the intersection.

On Thursday, Venus released a statement further clarifying her side of the story.

“Ms. Williams entered the intersection on a green light,” her attorney Malcolm Cunningham said. “The police report estimates that Ms. Williams was traveling at 5 mph when Mrs. Barson crashed into her. 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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(Photo: PR Photos)

26 thoughts on “Venus Williams Involved in Deadly Car Crash That Killed 78-Year-Old Man, Police Say

  1. specialt757 on said:

    Yeah and a lawsuit is to be expected no matter who was involved, especially if it resulted in a fatality. And that’s why we have auto insurance. However, no doubt in my mind they will try to come after Ms. Williams personal finances, especially knowing who she is, the lawyer is already on ABC like a shark smelling blood.
    No doubt it was an accident, no one wakes up thinking (hoping) hey I’m going to be in an accident and cause someone’s death, again no rationale thinking person.

  2. leadjustone on said:

    I feel sad for the woman who lost her husband, and sad for Venus. I’m sure her expression of condolences is sincere. There will probably be some kind of financial settlement. Won’t bring her husband back, but at least she will get some compensation for her loss.

    • African American Woman on said:

      I had a guy, just last year, run a stop sign right in front of me…not a high speed impact but there he was…I couldnt avoid him as I had no stop sign and the right of way…if I had a few more seconds to think, I may have been able to think of a quick way to avoid him, but in that second, I just had time to brace for the impact. When a driver blocks traffic that has the right of way, they are responsible for what happens…we don’t know if Venus was inching out into traffic, did she cone forward suddenly and cut the car off??? We dont know, but she’s at fault either way

  3. If I came upon a car stopped in the middle of an intersection, unable to go forward or backward, even if I had the right of way, I’d stop. I wouldn’t plow into the car that can’t move. What am I missing?

    • specialt757 on said:

      It makes me think she was unable to stop, no one really wants to T-bone another car, at least no rationale thinking person.

  4. Diane on said:

    Now she’s bring sued. I can’t imagine what’s she’s going thru. I knw the victims family is suffering, also.

  5. A classic misconception is if someone hits you it’s their fault that’s non-sense
    It boils down to who had the right of way, and to those who claim the age of the driver
    should have eliminated him from driving that’s totally asinine teens have far better reflex
    and physical dexterity and vision yet look at the stats on teen auto deaths and accidents
    not to mention talking to your insurance agent about adding your teen son to your auto insurance. This was unfortunate and I hope there is no criminal liability imposed on Ms Williams

    • OK so thanks for giving us the Ass-Hat comment of the week this sort of thing happens ALL over this country every day what does Florida or G. Zimmerman have to do with a car accident. Can you figure that out????

  6. Lovie Gaddis Mathis- Duncan on said:

    Older people who loses some balances of memory and decision making at that age should NOT be driving at all. Though this country allows it with a valid driver’s license, medical evidence has proven otherwise. I know this could have happened at the same token had the couple been younger, but the response time of defensive driving could have been heightened at that younger age considered. RIP

    • Lovie I agree, I am in my sixties and know that my reflexes are not as sharp as they used to be which causes me to drive a little slower and cautiously. Am very nervous now when driving because you have so many people on the road doing stupid things on the road. I have night blindness and stay off the road, if possibly, and get in the house before 6p.m. in winter and by 8-8:30 in summer months. This is what it is and I am not ashamed to admit it.

      • specialt757 on said:

        Hey Bre, I understand. But younger drivers, while they may have a quicker “response time” and their reflexes are better than an older driver, they do not have the experience that an older driver may. My neighbors’ son is just 19 y.o. and has already totally wrecked two cars, one doing God knows what and the other falling asleep behind the wheel, and fortunately he didn’t kill anyone, not even himself. So younger doesn’t always equal “better driver”, and Lovie’s comment, almost sounded as if she were blaming the victim.

      • Yes as one gets older their senses can and do decline many states after a certain age
        A driver has to retest because one’s ability to operate a motor vehicle comes down to that single individual some do fine others don’t, I know people in your situation and my siblings and I had to take our mothers keys years ago as well.

  7. specialt757 on said:

    Sounds like it was Ms. Williams’ fault, yes it was an unfortunate accident and someone died as a result. Perhaps she should be ordered to go to traffic school to understand the rules of the road.
    I’m pretty sure she feels horrible, but just imagine how the woman feels that her husband was killed as a result of Ms. Williams’ mistake. At this point and if it were me, I wouldn’t care who Ms. Williams was, I would want my husband alive. Nothing personal against Ms. Williams at all.

  8. African American Woman on said:

    I think you are missing the point…the striking driver had the right of way. It doesn’t really matter why the offending driver ending up being in the path of traffic…Venus caused the scenario that put the event in motion.

  9. Diane on said:

    Wow, I just saw this on the news. It dosen’t sound like Venus was at fault. How did venus caused the crash the other person rammed her. The other driver was 78y/o. Js

    • Leslie on said:

      I believe they are saying that she was “stuck” in the middle of the intersection even after she no longer had the right-of-way. I see it here all the time, people go out into the intersection while the light is green, but the traffic up ahead is backed up, and they end up being stuck in the middle of the intersection, blocking traffic. Not sure why the other driver wouldn’t have seen her though…

      • Truth on said:

        Me ether. I guess that’s why they call it and accident. Don’t understand why you would no see a stopped car or a slowed down car. Just like when someone stops in front of you.

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