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Venus Williams 'drove lawfully' during crash

Venus Williams 'drove lawfully' during crash

Venus Williams 'drove lawfully' during crash
July 08
04:27 2017


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EPA

Image caption

Five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams has not been charged over the fatal collision

Footage has emerged showing that US tennis star Venus Williams was driving lawfully during a car crash that led to the death of a 78-year-old, police say.

Surveillance video obtained by Palm Beach Gardens police in Florida shows Ms Williams’ vehicle entering an intersection on a green traffic signal.

An earlier police report had said Ms Williams was at fault and “violated the right of way of [the other driver]”.

Ms Williams’ lawyer said the fatal crash on 9 June was an accident.

The family of Jerome Barson, the man who died in the collision, have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Ms Williams.

New video evidence has revealed that the Grand Slam champion had the right of way as she entered the intersection of Northlake Boulevard in the city of Palm Beach Gardens, according to the police report.

However as she proceeded, the report says, Ms Williams was forced to brake to avoid a collision with an oncoming vehicle, which delayed her from clearing the junction.

Image copyright
Palm Beach Gardens police

Image caption

Police released CCTV footage showing Ms Williams’ vehicle (top left) colliding with another car

As she then began to move forwards, a second vehicle – travelling in a different direction – entered the intersection on a green traffic signal, and the two cars collided.

“This updated information, based upon new evidence, is still under investigation,” the police statement said.

Mr Barson had been travelling with his wife who was driving their vehicle at the time. He was taken to hospital but died two weeks later from his injuries.

Mrs Barson was also taken to hospital but survived.

The initial police report, obtained by US media, said that no other factors such as drugs, alcohol or mobile phone distractions were being investigated.

Ms Williams, the 37-year-old seven-time Grand Slam champion, reportedly told police she did not see the couple’s car and she was driving slowly. She was not arrested in connection with the crash.

On Monday, when questioned by reporters about the crash, Ms Williams broke down in tears, and said: “There are no words to describe how devastating [it is]. I’m completely speechless.”

Ms Williams’ lawyer Malcolm Cunningham told CNN in a statement: “Ms Williams entered the intersection on a green light. The police report estimates that Ms Williams was travelling at 5mph when Mrs Barson crashed into her.

“Authorities did not issue Ms Williams with any citations or traffic violations. This is an unfortunate accident and Venus expresses her deepest condolences to the family who lost a loved one.”

Ms Williams is currently playing her 20th Wimbledon tournament in London, where she is seeded 10th.

Ms Williams and her sister Serena have dominated the women’s game for two decades.



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