Autopsy: Trauma injuries from crash killed man
Couple’s car collided with vehicle driven by Venus Williams.
WEST PALM BEACH — A 78-yearold Acreage man died from complications of multiple “blunt traumatic injuries” after the car his wife was driving in June collided with an SUV driven by tennis great Venus Williams in Palm Beach Gardens, the Palm Beach County medical examiner ruled.
In a report obtained Thursday by The Palm Beach Post, Dr. Michael Bell said Jerome Barson suffered numerous abdominal injuries in the crash on Northlake Boulevard at BallenIsles Drive. Sitting in the passenger seat of the Hyundai Accent driven by his wife, Linda, Barson’s spleen and other organs were lacerated. He broke multiple bones in his pelvis, chest and lower spine, the forensic pathologist said.
Rushed to St. Mary’s Medical Center, the retired tennis instructor with a history of heart problems underwent emergency exploratory surgery following the June 9 crash, Bell said. He remained in critical condition in the intensive care unit until June 22, when he died when his organs failed.
In the autopsy report, a forensic investigator repeated comments a Palm Beach Gardens police officer initially made about the cause of the crash. Without mentioning the 37-year-old tennis star by name, investigator Julio Languasco said officer Kevin Folmar told him Williams was at fault because Linda Barson had the right of way.
Williams hasn’t been charged in connection with the crash, which remains under investigation.
After initially blaming Williams, Gardens police reversed course somewhat after reviewing video captured by a nearby security camera. The video shows Williams had a green light as she drove out of the Steeplechase community to cross Northlake Boulevard to head into BallenIsles, where she lives.
Stuck in the intersection behind traffic, she continued straight when the light turned red. By that time, Linda Barson, who was headed west on Northlake, had the green light. She hit the gas. Williams told police she didn’t see Barson’s car until the two vehicles col- lided.
Attorney Kevin Yombor, who is representing Williams in a civil lawsuit Barson’s family filed against her, said he hadn’t yet reviewed the autopsy report. Attorney Ian Duncan, who is representing the family in the suit pending in Palm Beach County Circuit Court, referred questions to a New York City publicist. She didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Venus Williams is being sued by Jerome Barson’s family.