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Attorneys for Venus Williams say third driver is at fault for fatal crash

Posted at 8:22 PM, Feb 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-09 20:22:19-05

The civil case against tennis star Venus Williams takes yet another twist.

Attorneys for the Palm Beach Gardens Resident are mounting a brand new defense tonight - blaming a third driver for the accident that led to the death of 78-year-old Jerome Barson.

In the surveillance video you can see the SUV driven by Venus Williams as she approaches Northlake Boulevard.

According to the police report, an unknown dark colored vehicle, which investigators say is likely a 2008 Nissan Altima driven by Elizabeth Dowd-Shedlock, turns in front of Williams.

Investigators say Williams steps on the brakes in the intersection to avoid a collision with the car.

As Williams continues, the car carrying Barson, driven by his wife Linda, hits Williams.

The document filed by Williams' attorneys say Dowd-Shedlock completed an improper left turn, causing Williams to slow down.

Williams' attorneys are not filing suit against Dowd-Shedlock, but they do claim the collision between the two cars was directly caused by her "negligence and breach of duty."

The crash investigation from the Palm Beach Gardens Police Department concludes that Dowd-Shedlock "started a sequence of events" that resulted in the crash.

It's important to note - neither Williams nor Dowd-Shedlock were charged in the crash.

NewsChannel 5 reached out to Williams’ attorneys at Wicker Smith O’Hara McCoy & Ford, P.A. The office says it’s not their practice to comment on pending litigation.

We also reached out to the attorneys for the Barson’s estate and to Dowd-Shedlock, but they didn’t return our calls.