Venus Williams will not be charged in connection with a fatal auto accident that occurred last June in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
Nor will Linda Barson, the 68-year-old driver of the other car be charged. Barson’s 78-year-old husband, Jerome, died 13 days after the June 9 accident and Linda Barson suffered a broken arm and other injuries. Jerome Barson suffered lacerations to his spleen and pelvis and spinal fractures. While hospitalized, he developed multi-organ failure and was in the intensive care unit until he died, according to the Sun-Sentinel. His estate has filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against Williams.
According to the Palm Beach Gardens police report, Williams’s vehicle was illegally cut off as she tried to cross a six-lane highway near her home, setting off a chain reaction in which Barson’s vehicle T-boned Williams’s. The report indicated that Williams legally entered the intersection with a green light from her gated neighborhood. As she began to cross, a third car cut her off and forced her to stop. When that car moved, Williams went forward, but was in the path of Barson, who by then had the green light. The cars collided at about 40 mph.
“I was caught in the middle. I never saw that car coming,” Williams told an officer at the scene.
Authorities initially said that Williams had run a red light, then determined from surveillance footage that Williams had legally entered the intersection. Body camera footage later released showed an officer at the scene telling Williams that he’d say she was at fault, but, he added, “I don’t feel comfortable writing a citation when I’m not a hundred percent sure, and I’m not a hundred percent sure in this case.”
In June, Williams had written on Facebook that she was “devastated and heartbroken by this accident. My heartfelt condolences go out to the family and friends of Jerome Barson and I continue to keep them in my thoughts and prayers.”