South Florida

Venus Williams Granted Emergency Motion in Fatal Palm Beach Crash Case

Tennis star Venus Williams was granted an emergency motion to prevent the inspection of the two vehicles involved in a fatal Palm Beach County crash that police say she caused.

Williams was granted the motion Wednesday pending a hearing scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Friday, court records showed.

Williams is being sued by the estate of 78-year-old Jerome Barson, who died less than two weeks after the June 9 crash. A Palm Beach Gardens police report said Williams caused the crash that left Barson with a fractured spine and numerous internal injuries.

Attorney Michael Steinger accuses Williams, 37, of running a red light, failing to yield the right-of way, inattentive driving and negligent operation of a motor vehicle. He said Barson, a retired teacher who had moved to South Florida from Philadelphia in 1975, had been in good health and preparing to go on a Disney cruise with his wife of 33 years, Linda, three children and 13 grandchildren.

He said Linda Barson, who suffered several fractures to her right arm and hand in the crash, is "physically and emotionally devastated."

Williams has not been cited or charged. Police say she was not drunk, on drugs or texting, but that she drove into the Barsons' path.

Investigators say witnesses and Linda Barson, who was driving, told them Williams' 2010 Toyota Sequoia SUV crossed in front of the Barsons' 2016 Hyundai Accent after the couple's light turned green. The Accent smashed into the side of the Sequoia.

Williams, who owns a home near the crash site, told investigators her light was green when she entered the six-lane intersection but she got stopped midpoint by traffic and didn't see the Barsons' car before she crossed their lane.

Attorneys for Barson's estate wanted to inspect the vehicles but the motion filed Wednesday said, in part, that "no party should be allowed to inspect the vehicles until all parties can be present with their experts and this court issues a procedure for collecting the vehicles' data."

Williams, who is participating in Wimbledon this week, teared up while discussing the crash at a news conference Monday.

"There are really no words to describe, like, how devastating and...yeah, I'm completely speechless," she said.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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