As Venus Williams advances to the third round of the Wimbledon tournament in London, hoping to defeat Japan’s Naomi Osaka, she receives a small victory for the wrongful death suit involving a June 9th crash in Palm Beach Gardens. *See update below
Venus Williams’s legal team has obtained a protective order which halts the gathering information from the 2016 Hyundai Accent driven by Linda Barson.
According to the police report, the Accent, driven by Barson, 67(at date), was traveling south on Northlake Blvd near the entrance to Ballen Isles when Williams’s 2010 Toyota Sequoia attempted to cross.
Barson told police she had a green light and drove through it when Williams cut in front of her in the intersection. Williams also stated the light was green when she pulled her Toyota out of the Steeplechase community in Palm Beach Gardens and started crossing Northlake to go to Ballen Isles, where she has a home.
Williams told police that traffic had forced her to stop, blocking a lane.
78-year-old Barson received multiple injuries and later died as a result of the injuries incurred in the crash.
According police reports, the driver of the Toyota (Williams) was at fault for the accident.
Legal counsel for the Barsons wanted to collect information from the Hyndai’s operational data.
Attorney Kevin Yombor of Ft Lauderdale argued that the planned information download by Barson lawyer Michael Steinger might fall short and the data would be lost.
The new protective order document obtained by Williams’s legal team was sought so that both parties could obtain details from the internal memory systems within the vehicles.
Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Cymonie Rowe is expected to make a decision regarding the inspection of both vehicles on July 7.
Venus Williams was visibly wearing the effects of the case during her scheduled competition at Wimbledon. Following her first-round win, she began crying when asked about the accident.
“There really are no words to describe, like, how devastating…” Williams said, trailing off. “I’m completely speechless.”
This story will be updated as new information becomes available.
Update July 7, 2017:
The Palm Beach Gardens Police have issued an updated statement regarding this incident. New surveillance footage has also been released which displays the time and occurrence of the accident.
Statement from Palm Beach Gardens Police Department Regarding the Traffic Crash which occurred on June 9, 2017
The Palm Beach Gardens Police Department initiated an investigation into a traffic crash involving Venus Williams on June 9, 2017. The crash occurred at 1:13 P.M. at the intersection of Northlake Boulevard and BallenIsles Drive in the City of Palm Beach Gardens. The passenger of Vehicle 2 (Jerome L. Barson of West Palm Beach, FL) was transported to the hospital where he later died on June 22, 2017.
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.
As per Florida Statutes, due to the continuing investigation of this incident, no additional information will be released at this time. To request a copy of the initial traffic crash report, please email the Palm Beach Gardens Office of the City Clerk at firstname.lastname@example.org. Submit your request along with a completed, signed and notarized affidavit available at www.pbgfl.com/TrafficCrashAffidavit. The surveillance video referenced in this press release is available at: https://www.dropbox.com/s/vhjp91zyd2p7nr3/6-9-17%20Crash%20Surveillance%20Footage.mp4?dl=0
Major Paul Rogers
Public Information Officer
Palm Beach Gardens Police Department
10500 N. Military Trail
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410
Phone: (561) 799-4548
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE JULY 07, 2017