TEN­NIS

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - THE SECOND PAGE -

Po­lice: Wil­liams legally en­tered in­ter­sec­tion be­fore crash

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 video re­leased Fri­day shows.

The video, taken by a se­cu­rity cam­era, shows Wil­liams head­ing north as she stops her 2010 Toy­ota Se­quoia 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 2016 Hyundai sedan driven by Linda Bar­son.

Palm Beach Gar­dens po­lice said in a state­ment Fri­day that Bar­son’s light had turned green just be­fore Wil­liams moved in front of her. Bar­son’s hus­band, Jerome Bar­son, 78, died June 23 from in­juries suf­fered in the crash.

Wil­liams, who was not hurt, has not been cited or charged. Po­lice spokesman Maj. Paul Rogers said Fri­day the video has caused in­ves­ti­ga­tors to re­scind their orig­i­nal con­clu­sion that Wil­liams was at fault and that no blame has yet been de­ter­mined.

Jerome Bar­son’s es­tate has filed a wrong­ful death law­suit against Wil­liams seek­ing unspecified dam­ages. Linda Bar­son, 68, suf­fered nu­mer­ous frac­tures to her arm.

Wil­liams, 37, is now in Eng­land com­pet­ing at Wim­ble­don, a tour­na­ment she has won five times. The 10th-seeded Wil­liams, who has won her first three matches, broke down in tears Mon­day when asked at a press con­fer­ence about the crash.

Michael Steinger, the at­tor­ney for the Bar­son fam­ily, said the video shows Wil­liams caused the crash by “vi­o­lat­ing the Bar­sons’ right of way.”

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