Venus Williams faces wrongfuldeath suit.
The daughter of a man killed in a car crash involving tennis star Venus Williams has filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against her.
Williams was crossing an intersection in her Toyota SUV in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., around 1 p.m. June 9 when, according to a police report, she collided with a car being driven by Linda Barson. Barson’s husband, Jerome, 78, was a passenger in the car, and died June 22 from injuries he suffered in the crash.
According to the lawsuit, filed Thursday, Linda Barson, 68, also suffered injuries, including “a cracked sternum, shattered right arm, broken wrist, hand and fingers.”
Williams, who arrived in London on Wednesday to prepare for her 20th Wimbledon tournament, was physically unharmed in the crash.
The accident happened as Williams’ car was moving through the intersection about 5 mph and Barson’s car ran into it, the report said. It said Williams was at fault for “violating the right of way” of the other vehicle, though she was not cited. A police spokesman said Thursday that the accident remained under investigation.
Neither driver was suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or of being distracted by electronics or other factors, according to the police report.
Witnesses told investigators that Williams ran a red light just as Barson’s car entered the intersection on a green light.
According to the lawsuit, filed in Palm Beach County by Barson’s daughter, Audrey Gassner-Dunayer, “the resulting impact caused extensive damage to both vehicles.”
“The front end of the Hyundai Accent was crushed, the front windshield shattered, the air bags deployed, there was crush damage to the rear on the driver’s side, and the back window was shattered,” the lawsuit said. “The Defendant’s Toyota Sequoia was also severely damaged.”
Williams’ coach, David Witt, said that she arrived in England on Wednesday morning and practiced Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
“It’s tough on her, but she’s trying to stay positive and taking it one day at a time,” Witt said of the accident. “She wants to focus on the tennis here.”