Venus Williams Will Not Be Charged For Fatal Crash in Florida—Reports

Tennis star Venus Williams will not face any criminal charges in relation to the fatal traffic accident she was involved in near her Florida residence in June, the Sun-Sentinel newspaper reported on Wednesday (December 20), quoting police.

The driver of a car that struck Williams' SUV in an intersection was also not charged, after Palm Beach Gardens police determined that neither violated the right-of-way, the newspaper reported. Palm Beach Gardens police and the city clerk did not immediately respond to inquiries.

Police had initially said Williams was to blame for failing to yield the right-of-way.

But by July, Palm Beach Gardens police said video evidence had surfaced that showed that Williams entered the intersection lawfully, and that a car not involved in the collision forced Williams to stop in the intersection. The traffic light changed, and a sedan that struck Williams' SUV had a green light.

Jerome Barson, 78, who was a passenger in a sedan that collided with the SUV Williams was driving, died 13 days after the June 9 accident. His wife, Linda Barson, 68, was driving the sedan.

Venus Williams
Venus Williams at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club at Wimbledon, London, July 15. Williams has been cleared of criminal charges involving a fatal crash in June. David Ramos/Getty

The Barson family has filed a wrongful death suit against Williams. Calls to attorneys for both parties were not immediately returned on Wednesday evening.

In a statement, his family's lawyer said the police report's conclusions were wrong.

"Ms Williams clearly violated our client's right of way because our client had a green light, as indicated in each and every police report issued in this case to date," Michael Steinger said.

Williams, the seven-time Grand Slam winner, competed at the Wimbledon Championships just weeks after the crash, reaching the final where she was beaten by Spain's Garbine Muguruza.

The older sister of Serena Williams broke down in tears when asked about the crash and death of Mr. Barson at a media conference during the tournament in London.