Friday, June 30, 2017
Venus Williams involved in car crash that led to fatality
Former world number one tennis player Venus Williams was involved in a two-car crash on June 9 at a Florida intersection that resulted in the death of a male passenger in the other vehicle, her attorney said on Thursday.
Williams's attorney Malcolm Cunningham denied the player was at fault in the accident after media outlets, citing a police report, said she had run a red light.
"Ms. Williams entered the intersection on a green light," Cunningham said in a statement about the accident, which happened near Williams' home in Palm Beach Gardens.
"The police report estimates that Ms. Williams was traveling at 5 miles per hour when Mrs. Barson crashed into her. Authorities did not issue Ms. Williams with any citations or traffic violations," he said.
He expressed condolences to the man's family and said he had no reason to believe the accident would impact 37-year-old Williams' plans to compete in Wimbledon, which begins next week in England.
"This is an unfortunate accident and Venus expresses her deepest condolences to the family who lost a loved one."
"I don't have any information that indicates she is not playing Wimbledon," he said.
TMZ Sports, which first reported on the accident, said the police report claims Williams was at fault and identifies the deceased as 78-year-old Jerome Barson, who died 14 days after the accident from his injuries.
The Palm Beach County medical examiner's website shows that a Jerome Barson died on June 22.
An attorney for the Barson family did not return a call for comment.
Williams is currently ranked number 11 in the world and seeded 10th at the Wimbledon, which she has won five times.
(Additional reporting by Bernie Woodall in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; editing by Ian Ransom)