After a 6-month investigation, Venus Williams was determined not responsible for a fatal car crash she was involved in back in June. Fortunately, neither is the driver of the other car.
According to the Sun Sentinel, an 18-page traffic homicide investigation was released Wednesday by Palm Beach Gardens police detailing the accident and confirming that Williams is not at fault for the crash. “Based upon this investigation and relevant Florida state statutes, no charges will be filed in this case,” the report reads.
The person killed in the crash was Jerome Barson, a 78-year-old Florida resident who rode as a passenger in a 2016 Hyundai Accent driven by his 68-year-old wife Linda Barson. The Barsons’ car T-boned Williams’ SUV as she waited in an intersection in Palm Beach Gardens. Jerome Barsons suffered major organ failure and succumbed to his injuries 13 days later. According to Venus, she had been "caught in the middle" of the intersection because a Nissan Altima had turned in front of her as the light was turning. Surveillance footage released the next month supported her story.
Police initially found the 37-year-old tennis star at fault, but then clarified in July that she had the right of way when entering the intersection on a green light.
At a Wimbledon press conference in July, Venus broke down when a reporter questioned her involvement in the crash. Rather than focusing on her performance against Elise Mertens or her upcoming second match against Qiang Wang, Williams was asked about the accident, which sent her into an emotional state. “I am completely speechless and it’s just,” Williams said tearfully. “I mean, I’m just ... ” The moderator quickly jumped in to field away further questions on the topic.
While it certainly must be a relief to have the legal sign off, the fallout from the accident isn’t quite over yet. Barson’s family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Williams. So far, no court dates have been announced in the matter.