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Florida Police Now Say Video Footage Vindicates Venus Williams in Fatal Car Crash (Video)
Police in Florida have rescinded their claim that tennis legend Venus Williams was at fault in a fatal car crash after obtaining security cam footage of the incident.
Last week the police concluded that Williams was at fault in the crash that led to the death of a 78-year-old man named Jerome Barson. However, her lawyer vehemently denied that this was the case. He said Venus legally entered the intersection of North Lake Blvd and Steeplechase Drive, heading north on Steeplechase Drive, but was forced to stop in the middle of the intersection when a vehicle in the southbound lane turned left in front of her.
On Friday the Associate Press obtained video from a nearby security camera corroborating Venus’s account. On Saturday, the Palm Beach Gardens Police Department issued a statement stating that their initial conclusion was incorrect, and that Venus was not at fault:
After the initial investigation was conducted, new evidence into the incident was located. Video surveillance footage was obtained from a community south of the intersection which recorded the traffic crash. Based on the evidence obtained in the ongoing investigation, it has been determined the vehicle driven by Venus Williams lawfully entered the intersection on a circular green traffic signal, and attempted to travel north through the intersection to BallenIsles Drive. As Williams was traveling through the intersection, a Nissan Altima entered the intersection traveling south, and made a left turn in front of William’s vehicle, causing her to stop advancing through the intersection to avoid a collision. After the Nissan had proceeded past Williams, Williams then started to proceed north through the intersection in accordance with F.S.S. 316.075 (1)(a)1. The vehicle driven by Linda Barson was traveling west on Northlake Blvd, in the outside lane, approaching a steady red traffic signal. The traffic signal then cycled to green, at which time Barson continued westbound and entered the intersection. The front end of Barson’s vehicle collided with the right front of William’s vehicle. This updated information, based upon new evidence, is still under investigation.
Here’s the video:
Williams is still being sued by the estate of Jerome Barson. They claim that Williams is still at fault because she violated the right of way of the decedent’s wife, Linda Barson, who was driving the car.
Unfortunately, this video makes it pretty clear that Venus Williams had no choice but to stop in the middle of the intersection, and that Mrs. Barson was not practicing alert, defensive driving. One would have to think that, at this point, the lawsuit is going to be thrown out.
Hat Tip – [Deadspin]