Future Uncertain After Tennis Star Venus Williams’ Fatal Car Accident Involvement Shows Fault

Posted on: June 30, 2017, 01:00h. 

Last updated on: June 30, 2017, 02:30h.

Venus Williams, one of greatest tennis players of all time, was found at fault in an auto collision that ultimately  claimed the life of a 79-year-old man. The accident happened June 9 in Palm Beach, Florida, but the results of an investigation into the chain of events was just made public on Thursday.

Venus Williams accident
Tennis star Venus Williams was involved in an accident that claimed the life of a 79-year old Florida man. (Image: Associated Press)

Williams was driving a 2010 Toyota Sequoia when a witness said she ran a red light and was hit by a 2016 Hyundai Accent driven by 68-year-old Esther Linda Barson. Her husband, Jerome Barson, 79, was a passenger and suffered head injuries.

The 37-year-old Williams was not injured and was apparently not under the influence of drugs or alcohol, according to police, who did not cite her at the scene, but did say she was found to be at fault for the accident following their investigation.

Jerome Barson was rushed to a local hospital and died of his injuries on June 22, his wife’s birthday. Ironically, Barson’s death certificate listed his occupation as a tennis professional, but no specific details of what he did within the industry were listed.

Potential Issues with Wimbledon, Sponsors?

Williams has committed to Wimbledon, which begins Monday. She is seeded 10th and is attempting to win her sixth title at the All England Club. She has won seven Grand Slam events in her career.

She is currently at 12-1 to win and sportsbooks have not adjusted the odds since the accident was publicized. The favorite is Petra Kvitova at 5-1.

Her sponsors, Wilson and Jamba Juice, have not put out any statements on whether this will affect her relationships with those companies.

Williams also has two businesses, a clothing line and a residential and commercial design firm.  Her net worth is estimated at $75 million.

Third Driving Incident

This is not the first time Williams has had a driving related incident. In 2013, she received a ticket for driving with a suspended license and paid a $163 fine.

Two years prior to that, she was cited for driving without proof of insurance and paid $139 for that violation. The victim’s wife had been cited for speeding in Palm Beach County three times between 2004 and 2013, according to court records.

Though she was not charged at the scene, the tennis star could receive a summons after the police complete their report of the incident. Her lawyer, Malcolm Cunningham, released a statement Thursday, explaining his client’s actions.

“Ms. Williams entered the intersection on a green light. The police report estimates that Ms. Williams was traveling at 5 mph 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.”

The Barson family has hinted at a pending lawsuit against Williams. The Palm Beach Post reported that in a petition filed on behalf of Barson’s estate on Tuesday, the only asset listed for Barson was “the expectation of recovery in an action for wrongful death.” It did not list any anticipated amount.