Former tennis world number one Venus Williams caused a car crash earlier this month that led to the death of a passenger in another vehicle, according to a police report but her attorney denied the player was at fault.
Palm Beach Gardens police said witnesses told investigators that Williams ran a red light in her 2010 Toyota Sequoia SUV, causing a June 9 crash that injured 78-year-old Jerome Barson, who died two weeks later.
Williams’s attorney Malcolm Cunningham denied the player had driven through a red light.
“Ms Williams entered the intersection on a green light,” Cunningham said in a statement about the accident, which happened near Williams’ home in Palm Beach Gardens.
“The police report estimates that Ms Williams was traveling at 5mph when Mrs Barson crashed into her. Authorities did not issue Ms Williams with any citations or traffic violations,” he said.
The report said a 2016 Hyundai Accent driven by Barson’s wife, Linda, crashed into the side of Williams’ SUV.
Linda told investigators she was approaching the intersection when her light turned green and that she was unable to stop in time.
Linda suffered unspecified moderate injuries. Williams, who turned 37 on June 17, was not hurt.
According to the report, Williams told investigators she had entered the six-lane intersection on a green light but had been forced to stop midpoint by traffic ahead of her.
She said she did not see the Barsons’ car when she crossed into their lanes.
Williams is expected to compete at this year’s Wimbledon championships which begin in England next week.
Williams is currently ranked number 11 in the world and seeded 10th at the Wimbledon, which she has won five times.
The seven-time grand slam champion revealed in 2011 that she had been diagnosed with Sjogren’s syndrome, an autoimmune disease.
Her ranking fell outside the top 100 as she coped with her illness and injuries, and from 2011 to 2014, she only advanced past the third round at a major once.
In January this year, Williams reached the Australian Open final where she lost to her sister Serena.
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