*A police report says tennis star Venus Williams is responsible for a Florida car crash that sent an elderly man to the hospital before his eventual death earlier this month. On Thursday (June 29), the athlete released a statement calling the tragedy an “unfortunate accident” and explaining her side of the story.
Jerome Barson, 78, suffered head trauma in the June 9 collision and died two weeks later in an intensive care unit Sunday, TMZ reported Thursday. Barson’s wife was reportedly also hospitalized for injuries, including broken bones.
According to TMZ, Barson’s wife told police she T-boned Williams’ SUV traveling westbound in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., after the athlete abruptly entered an intersection heading northbound.
Police did not believe she’d been distracted by a device or under the influence of drugs or alcohol. But the report allegedly said: “(Williams) is at fault for violating the right of way of (the other driver).”
According to TMZ, Williams told cops she was trying to make it through the intersection but there was a traffic backup and she had to slow down to a crawl, with her car exposed in the intersection.
On Thursday, Venus released a statement further clarifying her side of the story.
“Ms. Williams entered the intersection on a green light,” her attorney Malcolm Cunningham said. “The police report estimates that Ms. Williams was traveling at 5 mph 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.”