NEW: Attorney says video shows Venus Williams to blame for fatal crash


A surveillance video of the fatal car crash involving Venus Williams shows the tennis star is still to blame for blocking a Palm Beach Gardens intersection, according to the lawyer for the family of Jerome Barson, who died from a fractured spine after the June 9 wreck.

Police said on Friday that the video shows that Williams did cross Northlake Boulevard from the Steeplechase gated community legally before being cut off by another car and stranded when the traffic light cycled. Her SUV was then T-boned by a Hyundai Accent driven by Barson’s wife, Linda.

Police: Venus Williams legally entered intersection before fatal crash

“The video released by the Palm Beach Gardens Police Department continues to support the fact that Ms. Williams remained in the intersection at a red light, violating the Barsons’ right of way,” said attorney Michael Steiger, the attorney for the Barson family.

“There is nothing that disputes Ms. Williams was in the intersection on a red light, and the witnesses clearly confirm the Barsons had a green light and lawfully entered the intersection.”

The Barson family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Williams as Linda Barson recovers from a broken wrist and other injuries.

The video released Friday, shot from Steeplechase, shows there was a third car in play.

Williams, who is now currently competing in the Wimbledon tennis tournament in England, was driving her SUV and got stranded in the intersection trying to enter BallenIsles Country Club, her longtime place of residence.

Jerome Barson, an Acreage resident and a retired tennis instructor, was taken to St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach, where he died on June 22.

The video, according to police, shows that Williams lawfully entered the intersection as she crossed Northlake until another vehicle, a Nissan Altima, made a left turn in front of her SUV.

The Altima cleared the intersection and Williams proceeded at 5 mph when the light cycled and the Barsons’ Hyundai struck her SUV. Police are trying to identify who was driving the Altima.

Police initially faulted Williams for violating the right of way. The crash remains under investigation.

When asked about the crash at Wimbledon, Williams said: “There are really no words to describe, like, how devastating and — yeah. I’m completely speechless.”

Williams, 37, is scheduled to meet Ana Konjuh in the fourth round on Monday following a third-round win over Naomi Osaka on Friday.

West Palm Beach attorney William Abramson has said previously that when it comes to civil liability for the crash, the tennis star may not be totally to blame. “Green doesn’t automatically means go,” he said.

Attorney David S. Weinstein, a partner at Clarke Silverglate in Miami, said he disagrees with Steiger’s assessment of the video. He said the driver of the Altima prohibited the tennis star from clearing the intersection and that she didn’t break the “don’t block the box” statute.

“The video should help to reduce Venus’s liability,” he said in an email. “You can’t see the light from the surveillance video, but based on cross traffic, it would appear that Venus entered the intersection under a green.”

Weinstein added that data from onboard computers from the cars will show whether Linda Brason braked while she was approaching the red light before it turned green.



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