Tennis legend Venus Williams has been blamed for a fatal car crash that claimed the life of a 78-year-old man in Florida.
Williams, 37, was at a major intersection in Palm Beach Gardens on June 9 when her car was T-boned by another vehicle that had the right of way, a police report said. A passenger in the second vehicle, Jerome Barson, 78, was sent to the ICU with head injuries and died two weeks later, according to TMZ.
Barson’s wife, who was behind the wheel of the other car, told police that Williams sped out at the corner of Ballenisles Drive and Northlake Boulevard. She argued that this did not give her enough time to slow down. As a result, her car hit the front-left corner of Williams’ SUV.
Williams countered to police that she had tried to make it through the traffic intersection, but that when traffic slowed she was left stranded in the middle of the room. According to the report, police ultimately sided with Barson.
“[Venus] is at fault for violating the right of way of [the other driver],” it read.
Barson’s wife was also sent to the hospital with broken bones and other injuries. She has not yet been identified.
The report said that there was no evidence that Williams had been drinking or had taken any substances that may have impacted her judgment.
Williams is expected to play in the Wimbledon final next week. If charges are pressed, she will likely have to forfeit the tournament.
This is not the first time Williams has had trouble on the roads.
In September 2009 she was stopped in a 2009 Mercedes Benz by the Jupiter Police Department and cited for driving with no proof of her insurance.
She was issued a $116 fine, which was increased to $139 in December due to late payment.
On July 3, 2013 her 2010 Toyota was involed in a crash on I-95 in Palm Beach County, and was cited for driving on a suspended or revoked license.
Her license was suspended on May 8, 2013, for failure to pay fines. She paid a $163 fine after that incident.
Venus Williams is an American professional tennis player who is generally regarded as one of the all-time greats of women’s tennis. She turned pro at the age of 14 and has since posted a career singles record of 751-212 with 49 career titles.