Venus Williams Involved in Fatal Crash in Florida

Venus Williams was involved in a car crash in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., on June 9 that resulted in a fatality, a spokesman for the police department there said.

Venus Williams is expected to compete at Wimbledon next week. Credit Kin Cheung/Associated Press

The crash is under investigation, said the spokesman, Maj. Paul Rogers. Palm Beach Gardens police said in a report on the crash that Williams was at fault, but her lawyer noted that she had not been cited or charged.

Jerome Barson, 78, was injured in the car, which was being driven by his wife, and died two weeks later. Palm Beach Gardens police said that witnesses told investigators that Williams ran a red light.

A lawyer for Williams, Malcolm Cunningham, released a statement Thursday that said: “Ms. Williams entered the intersection on a green light. The police report estimates that Ms. Williams was traveling at 5 m.p.h. 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.”

Cunningham said that Williams was not ticketed or charged, and was not injured in the crash. The police report said she was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Williams was cited in Palm Beach County, Fla., for driving without proof of insurance in 2011 and for driving with a suspended license in 2013.

Williams, who has won seven Grand Slam singles titles, is expected to play in her 20th Wimbledon starting Monday. She is seeded No. 10.

Williams has had her greatest success at Wimbledon. She has won the singles title five times, most recently in 2008. Last year, she reached the semifinals, her best result at the tournament since 2009.

Williams, who reached the final of the Australian Open in January, losing to her sister Serena, has not competed since the French Open. There, she lost to Timea Bacsinszky in the fourth round on June 4, five days before the accident, which occurred one day before the women’s final in Paris.

Last week, Williams spoke at a leadership conference in Sydney, Australia. It is not known if she has yet traveled to Britain for Wimbledon. She did not attend Thursday night’s WTA pre-Wimbledon party in London.

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Author: Chris Salamone

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