Friday, 30 June 2017

Venus Williams is sued by family of 78-year-old man who died in car crash 'caused by tennis star' as she brands it 'an unfortunate accident'

Venus Williams has been sued by the family of an elderly man who died in a car crash allegedly caused by the tennis star which she described as an 'unfortunate accident'.

The crash happened on June 9 and a Palm Beach Gardens police report said Miss Williams was 'at fault for violating the right of way of [the other driver].'

The Grand Slam champion was trying to get across a junction when she was hit from the side by another car.

Jerome Barson, 78, was a passenger being driven by his wife Linda and suffered serious head injuries.

He was taken to hospital but died two weeks later on June 23.

 Jerome Barson 
 A spokesman for the Barson family told the Daily Mail: 'The amount of pain the family is feeling right now is enormous.' 

The family are now seeking unspecified damages for loss of companionship for both Linda and their family, loss of earnings, pain and suffering, and medical and funeral expenses.

Mr Barson's wife said Miss Williams' SUV 'suddenly darted' into the intersection and there was no time to stop before she crashed into the side of the tennis star's vehicle.  
According to the lawsuit, the impact was so severe their car was 'crushed, the front windshield shattered, the airbags deployed, there was crush damage to the rear on the driver's side, and the back window was shattered.' 

TMZ said Miss Williams told police she was trying to get across the junction but traffic was backed up and she had to slow down to a crawl, leaving her stranded in the middle of the junction.

Mr Barson was taken to the intensive care unit but died two weeks later.
His wife was taken to hospital with injuries including a cracked sternum and multiple broken bones. 

A diagram on the police report shows Miss Williams' car in the middle of the junction with the Barsons' vehicle hitting its side.

Police say there was no evidence Miss Williams was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or that she was distracted by a phone. 

Pictures on Mr Barson's Facebook profile show him posing with a woman thought to be his wife, Linda, 68.

Below a photo of Mr Barson on Facebook a friend wrote: 'You will be missed.' 
The couple were married for more than 33 years and the lawsuit said Mr Barson died on his 68th birthday.    

Miss Williams' lawyer, Malcolm Cunningham, said in a statement last night: 'This is an unfortunate accident and Venus expresses her deepest condolences to the family who lost a loved one.' 

He added that Miss Williams had entered an intersection while the light was green and was going 5mph when the other vehicle crashed into hers.

He said she was not given a ticket or charged.

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