FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Tennis star Venus Williams legally entered an intersection but was cut off by another car, setting off a chain of events that seconds later resulted in a fatal crash with a third car, police said in releasing a video of the accident Friday.
Major Paul Rogers of the Palm Beach Gardens police said in a statement: “It has been determined the vehicle driven by Venus Williams lawfully entered the intersection on a circular green traffic signal.”
The security camera video shows Williams heading north as she stops her SUV at a stoplight behind a white car as she exits her Palm Beach Gardens neighborhood shortly after 1 p.m. June 9.
When the light turns green, the white car turns left onto a six-lane, heavily traveled boulevard, but Williams heads straight. A dark colored sedan turns left in front of her, causing her to stop.
She then continues straight into the far, westbound lanes, where her SUV is struck in the passenger’s side by a sedan driven by Linda Barson.
Police said in the statement that Barson’s light had turned green just before Williams moved in front of her. Barson’s 78-year-old husband, Jerome Barson, died June 23 from injuries suffered in the crash.
Williams, who was not hurt, has not been cited or charged and police say the crash remains under investigation. Investigators had previously said she was at fault in the crash. It was not clear from Friday’s police statement whether investigators have rescinded that conclusion.
Jerome Barson’s estate has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Williams seeking unspecified damages. Michael Steinger, the attorney for the Barson family, said the video shows Williams caused the crash by “violating the Barsons’ right of way.”