Venus Williams settles wrongful death lawsuit over fatal car crash
Tennis star Venus Williams has reached a settlement in the wrongful death suit centered around a fatal car accident, according to court documents.
The accident, in which the other driver’s Hyundai Accent crashed into Williams’ Toyota Sequoia, resulted in the death of Jerome Barson two weeks later. His wife, Linda, was driving and was injured when the crash happened at an intersection in Palm Beach Gardens.
Court filings from last week show that the case was dismissed with prejudice after a settlement was reached between Williams and Barson’s estate, but the settlement amount was not listed.
No charges were filed against the tennis star and a second driver over the crash in June 2017, Florida authorities said.
An investigation supported by video surveillance showed Williams did not violate the other driver’s right of way, the Palm Beach Gardens Police said in an investigative report obtained by CNN affiliate WPBF.
“Based upon this investigation and relevant Florida state statutes, no charges will be filed in this case,” the report said.
Palm Beach Gardens Police obtained surveillance video of the June 9 collision from the perspective of a guard gate of a residential community near the intersection.
On the basis of the video, police said in a statement shortly after the crash that, “the vehicle driven by Venus Williams lawfully entered the intersection on a circular green traffic signal, and attempted to travel north through the intersection.”
Williams came to a stop as she traveled north through the intersection “to avoid a collision” when a car going west made a left turn in front of her, according to authorities.
She then continued north, in accordance with state law, before another car collided with her vehicle, police said.
Two weeks after the crash, Jerome Barson died in a hospital. His family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Williams, citing negligence.
The lawsuit stated that Barson’s injuries included “severed main arteries, massive internal bleeding, a fractured spine, and massive internal organ damage.”
Earlier this year, Williams’ attorneys filed a protective order, saying they got less than 24 hours’ notice that the Barson family’s counsel was going to download vehicle data from the tennis star’s SUV, CNN affiliate WPEC-TV in West Palm Beach reported.
A judge granted an emergency motion in July that allowed Williams’ SUV to be searched. Both parties were given a chance to download and inspect crash data from the two vehicles involved.
The tennis star, 37, broke down in tears at Wimbledon in July when reporters questioned her about the wreck.
“There are really no words to describe, like, how devastating and — yeah. I’m completely speechless,” Williams said.