Being involved in a fatal car accident likely won’t leave Venus Williams’ memory any time soon, but the tennis star now can take solace in the fact it wasn’t her fault.
The Palm Beach Gardens (Fla.) Police Department initially determined Williams was at fault in a June 9 crash that sent 78-year-old Jerome Barson to the hospital, where he died of his injuries two weeks later. But police rescinded that determination Saturday with new surveillance footage from a nearby location.
Here’s the Palm Beach Gardens PD’s statement, via Deadspin.
“After the initial investigation was conducted, new evidence into the incident was located. Video surveillance footage was obtained from a community south of the intersection which recorded the traffic crash. Based on the evidence obtained in the ongoing investigation, it has been determined the vehicle driven by Venus Williams lawfully entered the intersection on a circular green traffic signal, and attempted to travel north through the intersection to BallenIsles Drive. As Williams was traveling through the intersection, a Nissan Altima entered the intersection traveling south, and made a left turn in front of William’s vehicle, causing her to stop advancing through the intersection to avoid a collision. After the Nissan had proceeded past Williams, Williams then started to proceed north through the intersection in accordance with F.S.S. 316.075 (1)(a)1. The vehicle driven by Linda Barson was traveling west on Northlake Blvd, in the outside lane, approaching a steady red traffic signal. The traffic signal then cycled to green, at which time Barson continued westbound and entered the intersection. The front end of Barson’s vehicle collided with the right front of William’s vehicle. This updated information, based upon new evidence, is still under investigation.”
And here’s the surveillance footage.
The Barson family is continuing its wrongful death lawsuit against Williams, with attorney Michael Steinger maintaining the 37-year-old still was at fault.
“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, per The Associated Press.
Williams’ attorney, Michael Cunningham, said in a statement that 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.”
“She remains deeply saddened by the loss suffered by the Barson family and continues to keep them in her thoughts and prayers,” Cunningham said.
Thumbnail photo via Susan Mullane/USA TODAY Sports Images