Venus Wil­liams faces wrong­fuldeath suit.

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - SPORTS -

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.”


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