- Venus Williams Cleared of Fault After a Fatal Car Crash
- August 10, 2017
Just like a tennis ball being lobbed back and forth, so has the blame for the traffic crash that Venus Williams was involved in that resulted in a death been bounced around. On June 9, Venus Williams was involved in a traffic crash at an intersection in Palm Beach Gardens which resulted in the death of Jerome Barson, who was a passenger in the vehicle that struck Williams' SUV. Linda Barson, who was driving the vehicle that T-boned Williams' vehicle, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the tennis super-star in Palm Beach County Court.
Immediately following the accident, the Palm Beach County police said that Williams caused the accident. However, surveillance video footage has emerged, which shows Ms. Williams driving out of the Ballen Isles Country Club on a green light. The video then shows Williams' vehicle getting caught in the intersection when another car turns in front of her. Because she had to slow down to allow that vehicle to pass, she was unable to make it all the way through the intersection before the light turned red. While Williams' vehicle was still in the intersection, Barson broadsided her vehicle on the passenger side. The emergence of this video footage has caused the police to reverse their previous position meaning Williams is no longer to blame for the accident.
There is a diagram of the intersection in a New York Times article, which was published prior to the new video footage, and when the Palm Beach County Police initially faulted Williams for "violating the right of way" of the other vehicle which had a green light. Williams was unharmed. Linda Barson suffered serious injuries and Jerome Barson, a front seat passenger who suffered severed main arteries, would die two weeks later of his injuries.
On July 7th, The Palm Beach Gardens Police Department issued a press release which contained a revised statement about the June 9th crash. The statement, which was published in a story in the New York Times said, "Based on the evidence obtained in the ongoing investigation, it has been determined that the vehicle driven by Venus Williams lawfully entered the intersection on a green traffic signal and attempted to travel north through the intersection to Ballen Isles Drive."
The new video proves that Williams obeyed the law, which means that she will not likely face a traffic citation, and she had previously been in jeopardy of receiving criminal charges such as reckless driving or vehicular homicide according to a Sports Illustrated article.
This new evidence will also help Williams defend herself against the wrongful death lawsuit. For the estate of Jerome Barson to prevail in their wrongful death action, they must be able to prove that Williams acted negligently. Had she indeed run a red light and crashed into the Barson's vehicle, they might have firmer grounds. But given the video evidence that Ms. Williams lawfully entered the intersection on a green light and was delayed in crossing it by another vehicle that cut her off, it is going to be much more difficult for the Barson's to prove negligence unless more evidence emerges to show another view of the crash.
Interestingly, as was mentioned in the Sports Illustrated article, if Williams had been injured in that collision, she might have grounds to bring a negligence lawsuit against the Linda Barson, who, while she did have the right of way because the light was green, she should not have proceeded through that intersection at speed if there was a vehicle blocking the intersection.
As you can see, car accident investigations can be complicated even when they don’t involve a high-profile sports celebrity. When you work with an experienced Fort Lauderdale car accident attorney from the Yeboah Law Group, you can feel confident in who is representing you.
Have you or a loved one suffered a serious injury in a car crash that was the result of someone else’s negligence? The knowledgeable Miami truck accident attorneys at Yeboah Law Group, P.A. are here to fight for your right to fair compensation for your injuries and losses. You can reach us by calling 1-800-TELL-SAM or completing our contact form to schedule a free consultation