Venus Williams reaches a settlement with family of 78-year-old man who was killed when his car crashed into hers
According to the police report, the 38-year-old claimed she was stuck in an intersection because of other traffic and did not see the man's car as she tried to cross.
Tennis star Venus Williams has finally reached a settlement in the lawsuit filed against her, a year earlier, after a brutal car crash, while resulted in the death of a person in June 2017. According to court documents obtained by TMZ, Williams and the family of the victim who was killed in the collision, 78-year-old Jerome Barson, reached an agreement. The exact settlement amount is not yet clear, however, reports state that the sum is sufficient enough to cover a number of expenses incurred by the family after the fatal crash. Barson was reportedly in the car with his wife Linda Barson when the crash occurred in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida last year. Police officials, in their report, stated that Linda and Jerome were in their Hyundai Accent crossing an intersection when their vehicle crashed into the side of Williams' Toyota Sequoia.
Linda, who was driving the car at the time of the crash, told police officials that she had a green light and there was no way she could have avoided Williams after the tennis star allegedly drove across the intersection in front of them.
Williams' attorney, while talking to TMZ, said that the tennis star also had a green light when she drove into the intersection. However, according to the police report, the 38-year-old claimed she was stuck in the intersection because of other traffic and did not see the Barsons' car as she tried to cross. The police report also showed that Williams was driving nearly 5mph when the crash occurred and was not under the influence of alcohol or drugs or distracted by an electronic device at the time of the incident.
According to the Palm Beach Post, Linda had told officers that she had slowed her car at the intersection for a red light which then turned green right before the collision.
A video of the crash showed police officers informing Williams that she was "at fault" in the car accident, which resulted in the loss of Jerome Barson's life. However, despite the initial statement, officers — several weeks later — changed their statement and said that Williams had "lawfully entered the intersection." According to PEOPLE, the police department said that there was "no final determination" of who was at fault.
Shortly after the incident, Barson family attorney, Michael Steinger, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Williams on June 30 last year and the tennis star, in response, claimed that the victim was not wearing a seatbelt at the time. Steinger, however, told PEOPLE that data which investigators pulled from the vehicle showed that both Linda and Jerome were wearing seatbelts at the time.
The Palm Beach Gardens Police Department eventually released a statement determining that Williams would not face any criminal charges: "Based upon this investigation and relevant Florida state statutes, no charges will be filed in this case."