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Venus Williams sued over fatal Florida car crash

By The Sports Xchange
American Venus Williams returns a shot during the French Open in May. Photo by David Silpa/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/4b019337bbc255ba78129070094f9d47/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
American Venus Williams returns a shot during the French Open in May. Photo by David Silpa/UPI | License Photo

Venus Williams is being sued by the family of a 78-year-old man who died after a Florida car crash involving the tennis star.

Michael Steinger, attorney for Linda Barson, said on "Good Morning America" Friday that the family will file the wrongful death suit against Williams over the accident in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., on June 9 that left Jerome Barson with head injuries. Jerome Barson died two weeks later on June 22.

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"At this point we are attempting to both preserve the evidence and gain access to evidence," Steinger said on the ABC morning show. "There were video cameras placed at guard houses where Ms. Williams lives, police have refused after multiple requests to turn those over to us, and we would like to see visual portrayal of the accident on those videos. They have impounded all the vehicles and have impeded our ability to do our investigation and move forward. Not sure what their reasoning is. They have refused to turn them over to us at this point."

According to the Palm Beach Gardens police report, Williams' 2010 Toyota Sequoia SUV drove into an intersection near her residence. The other driver, identified as Linda Barson, said she could not stop her 2016 Hyundai Accent in time and hit Williams' car. Barson's husband, Jerome Barson, was a passenger in her car. Linda Barson also was listed as being injured in the police report.

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"Ms. Williams entered the intersection on a green light," Williams' attorney, Malcolm Cunningham, said in a statement Thursday. "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."

Cunningham said Williams entered the intersection on a green light that turned red during the turn, and that Williams got stuck in the intersection because of traffic.

According to the police report, the 37-year-old Williams was at fault for violating the right of way of the other vehicle. The police report said there is no evidence that alcohol, drugs or texting while driving were factors in the crash. Williams has not been cited or charged.

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Palm Beach Gardens police said the crash remains under investigation.

The accident occurred after Williams was ousted from the French Open. She is the top-seeded American at No. 10 for Wimbledon, the Grand Slam grass-court event getting underway on Monday.

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