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Venus Williams crash: police say drivers not at fault

Posted at 8:13 PM, Dec 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-20 20:13:57-05

Police will not be filing criminal charges in a June crash involving tennis star Venus Williams and a man that later died from his injuries, according to a recently released report.

Palm Beach Gardens investigators say a third car entered Williams’ right of way while she was crossing Northlake Blvd in the intersection of BallenIsles Dr on June 9. 

Linda Barson was driving a Hyundai Accent with her husband, Jerome, in the car when it collided with a Toyota Sequoia Williams was operating. Jerome Barson died two weeks after the collision.

Palm Beach Gardens Police released an 18-page traffic homicide investigation report Wednesday, saying the case is now closed and there will not be any further action taken criminally.

In the report, Williams told investigators that as she was driving out of a community and “stopped in the middle of the intersection because cars were turning left.”

She said she got caught in the middle of the intersection and never saw the other car coming.

According to Williams, she “always has to stop because cars are always turning left and [she’s] going straight.”

Barson was conscious and talking with fire rescue but was confused immediately after the crash.

Linda Barson told investigators she was slowing for a red light on Northlake Blvd when it changed to green. She said she went through the intersection and was unable to avoid crashing into Williams’ car.

Barson was traveling around 42-45 miles per hour, the report states.

The family of Jerome Barson filed a wrongful lawsuit against Williams after the crash, claiming she was negligent. 

That case is open.

Attorney Michael Steinger representing the Barson family released the following statement about the final police report: 

Palm Beach Gardens Police Department’s new report is incorrect —  Ms. Williams clearly violated our clients right of way because our client had a green light, as indicated in each and every police reports issued in this case to date.   The report is further inaccurate because the video surveillance does not indicate the color of Ms. Williams light and therefore does not support the police departments conclusion.  Despite the flawed police department report The Barsons claims against Ms. Williams are still very much valid, although Ms. Williams will receive no criminal charges we are confident that The Barson civil claims will prevail in court.  
- Michael Steinger, Steinger Iscoe & Greene