Tennis star Venus Williams believed to be behind car crash

The two car-crash that killed an elderly passenger in the other car in Florida happened on June 9.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Venus Williams is currently ranked 11th in the world and seeded 10th at the Wimbledon tournament, which she has won five times.

Venus Williams, the world's former top-ranked tennis player, was the driver at fault in a two-car crash in Florida on June 9 that killed a passenger in the other vehicle, according to the initial police report on the incident released on Thursday.

News of the fatal wreck near Williams' home in Palm Beach Gardens surfaced in media accounts on Thursday.

"The driver of (Williams' car) is at fault for violating the right of way of," the investigating officer concluded, although the police report estimated Williams was travelling only at about eight kilometres per hour at the time of impact.

She was also was not distracted or suspected of any drug or alcohol use.

According to the report, Williams told police she drove into the intersection after exiting from another street on a green light, but stopped at the median break to wait for cross-traffic to clear, then proceeded without seeing Linda Barson, 68.

Barson's passenger, identified in the report as Jerome Barson, 78, was taken to a Florida trauma centre. He died 13 days later, according to the Palm Beach county medical examiner.

It was not immediately clear at what speed Barson was travelling.

The news came days before the 37-year-old athlete was planning to compete at Wimbledon, which begins in England next week.

Failure to give right of way

The police report said Williams was to blame for failing to yield the right of way to another motorist at a four-way intersection.

Another motorist who saw the accident also told police Barson had a green light when Williams crossed in front of her.

Williams's attorney, Malcolm Cunningham, did not directly address the accident report's finding that his client was at fault, but said the tennis star was not issued "any citations or traffic violations."

An attorney for the Barson family did not return a call seeking comment.

TRTWorld and agencies