PALM BEACH GARDENS — Tennis champion Venus Williams will have something heavy weighing on her mind as she heads to Wimbledon next week: she’s just been blamed for the death of a 78-year-old man.
Williams, 37, was driving in Palm Beach Gardens on June 9 when police said her SUV blocked an intersection and another car, which had the right of way, T-boned her outside the entrance to the Ballenisles Country Club.
The passenger in that vehicle, Jerome Barson, 78, was taken to the ICU at St. Mary’s Medical Center with head injuries and died two weeks later.
His wife, Linda Barson, 68, was driving the car and said Williams darted out of the intersection of Ballenisles Drive and Northlake Boulevard, and she had no option but to hit Williams’ SUV.
Williams claimed that she’d attempted to make it through the intersection, but traffic slowed down and she was left in the middle of the road.
The cops didn’t buy Williams’ story.
The officers wrote in the report that she was at fault “for violating the right of way” of the other driver.
It’s unclear whether charges will be pressed.
Williams has had some traffic scrapes with the law before.
In May 2013, her license was suspended for failing to pay fines. And two months later, in July, her car was in an crash on I-95 and she was cited for driving on a suspended or revoked license.
This statement of fault comes at a bad time for Williams who is preparing to play at Wimbledon, and experts say she has a good chance of winning.