Police released a surveillance video Friday which shows the collision involving tennis star Venus Williams and an elderly couple in Palm Beach Gardens. Police also released a statement Friday saying Williams "lawfully entered" the intersection when Linda Barson’s car collided into Williams' SUV on June 9.
Barson’s car approached the intersection westbound after a green light, at which point the vehicle collided with the right front of Williams’ SUV, police said in a statement. It was previously reported by police that the tennis star caused the crash. She has not been cited or charged.
Jerome Barson, 78, succumbed to his injuries two weeks after the crash. His estate filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the tennis star, seeking damages in excess of $15,000. Attorneys for Barson’s estate accused Williams of running a red light, failing to yield the right of way, inattentive driving and negligent operation of a motor vehicle.
A judge ruled at a protective order hearing Friday that both parties should have their vehicles examined by Aug. 2. Williams’ attorney filed the emergency protective order one day before to ensure that the data from both vehicles are collected and preserved consistently.
Williams, 37, is now in England competing at Wimbledon, a tournament she has won five times. The 10th-seeded Williams, who has won her first three matches, broke down in tears Monday when asked at a press conference about the crash.
Michael Steinger, the attorney for the Barson family, said the video shows Williams caused the crash by "violating the Barsons' right of way. "
"There is nothing that disputes Ms. Williams' was in the intersection on a red light, and the witnesses clearly confirm the Barsons had a green light and lawfully entered the intersection," Steinger said in a statement.
Williams' attorney, Malcolm Cunningham, disagreed, saying in a statement that Linda Barson was at fault.
Williams "had the right to proceed through the intersection and other vehicles including those with a red light changing to green, were obligated to yield the right-of-way," Cunningham said, adding, "she remains deeply saddened by the loss suffered by the Barson family and continues to keep them in her thoughts and prayers."