Tennis star Venus Williams will not be charged in a June crash in which a man was fatally injured, according to a Palm Beach Gardens police report released Wednesday.
City police released their final report into the fatal June 9 crash investigation and stated neither Williams nor Linda Barson, the 68-year-old Acreage woman whose car crashed into the passenger side of Williams’s car, will be charged in the wreck. Instead, police said a third vehicle seen on surveillance-camera video caused a chain reaction that led to the crash.
On June 9, Williams collided with a Hyundai Accent driven by Barson at an intersection near her home at BallenIsles Country Club off Northlake Boulevard. Linda Barson’s husband Jerome, 78, was the passenger in the car and died weeks later from complications of blunt traumatic injuries.
Additionally, Linda Barson suffered broken bones. Williams was not cited in the crash, but Barson’s family filed a civil lawsuit against her.
Surveillance-camera video showed that Williams attempted to travel north on BallenIsles Drive and was stopped in the intersection because a southbound Nissan Altima leaving BallenIsles turned left onto eastbound Northlake Boulevard in front of her, violating Williams’s right of way. Williams stopped to avoid the crash, according to police. Police have not identified the driver of the Nissan.
As she finished going through the intersection, Barson’s traffic light turned green and she headed westbound on Northlake, crashing into the passenger side of Williams’s vehicle. The police report states Williams was driving 5 mph at the time of the crash.
The initial police report stated Williams violated Barson’s right of way and police body-camera footage shows an officer saying the crash was Williams fault — but then told her, “You just got stuck in a bad situation there.” The final report released Wednesday said the surveillance-camera video showed Williams did not violate anyone’s right of way.
After winning an opening-round match at Wimbledon this summer, Williams talked about the crash with reporters and later posted on Facebook that she was “devastated and heartbroken” by the crash.
“My heartfelt condolences go out to the family and friends of Jerome Barson and I continue to keep them in my thoughts and prayers,” she wrote in the post.