US tennis star Venus Williams has been involved in a car crash that led to the death of a 78-year-old man.
Photos show the damage Venus Williams caused when she darted into the middle of an intersection, causing an elderly couple to slam into the side of her car.
Linda Barson was driving with her husband Jerome, 78, in the passenger seat when the crash happened.
Mr Barson was hospitalized for serious head injuries after the crash and died two weeks later. His wife is now suing Williams for causing the crash.
The photos from the crash scene show the Barsons’ vehicle crashed on the side of the road, with the front of the car completely crumpled in on itself. The airbags appear to have deployed in the front, and the back windows are shattered.
The couple’s back window was smashed after the accident on June 9 in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
The crash happened on June 9 and a Palm Beach Gardens police report said Miss Williams was ‘at fault for violating the right of way of [the other driver].’
The Grand Slam champion was trying to get across a junction when she was hit from the side by another car.
A spokesman for the Barson family told the Daily Mail: ‘The amount of pain the family is feeling right now is enormous.’
The family are now seeking unspecified damages for loss of companionship for both Linda and their family, loss of earnings, pain and suffering, and medical and funeral expenses.
Mr Barson’s wife said Miss Williams’ SUV ‘suddenly darted’ into the intersection and there was no time to stop before she crashed into the side of the tennis star’s vehicle.
According to the lawsuit, the impact was so severe their car was ‘crushed, the front windshield shattered, the airbags deployed, there was crush damage to the rear on the driver’s side, and the back window was shattered.’
TMZ said Miss Williams told police she was trying to get across the junction but traffic was backed up and she had to slow down to a crawl, leaving her stranded in the middle of the junction.
Mr Barson was taken to the intensive care unit but died two weeks later.
His wife was taken to hospital with injuries including a cracked sternum and multiple broken bones.
The crash occurred in Palm Beach Gardens, at the intersection of Ballenisles Drive and Northlake Boulevard (pictured) after her SUV was struck in the middle of the road
Miss Williams told police she was trying to get across the junction but traffic was backed up and she had to slow down to a crawl, leaving her stranded in the middle of the junction
A diagram on the police report shows Miss Williams’ car in the middle of the junction with the Barsons’ vehicle hitting its side.
Police say there was no evidence Miss Williams was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or that she was distracted by a phone.
Pictures on Mr Barson’s Facebook profile show him posing with a woman thought to be his wife, Linda, 68.
Below a photo of Mr Barson on Facebook a friend wrote: ‘You will be missed.’
The couple were married for more than 33 years and the lawsuit said Mr Barson died on his 68th birthday.
The crash came five days after Williams lost out in her record-breaking 20th French Open (pictured) to 30th-seed Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland on June 4
Miss Williams’ lawyer, Malcolm Cunningham, said in a statement last night: ‘This is an unfortunate accident and Venus expresses her deepest condolences to the family who lost a loved one.’
He added that Miss Williams had entered an intersection while the light was green and was going 5mph when the other vehicle crashed into hers.
He said she was not given a ticket or charged.
Miss Williams, 37, is due to compete at Wimbledon next week where she is the tenth seed.
Her appearance comes after she faltered during her record-breaking 20th French Open, losing out to 30th-seed Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland on June 4, five days before the Florida crash.
She has won seven Grand Slam singles titles, including five at Wimbledon. She revealed in 2011 that she had been diagnosed with Sjogren’s syndrome, an autoimmune disease.
Palm Beach Gardens Police Department have been contacted for comment.
This is not the first trouble Williams has had on the roads.
In September 2009 she was stopped in a Mercedes Benz by the Jupiter Police Department and cited for driving with no proof of her insurance.
She was issued a $116 fine, which was increased to $139 in December due to late payment.
On July 3, 2013 her Toyota was involved in a crash on I-95 in Palm Beach County, and was cited for driving on a suspended or revoked license.
Her license was suspended on May 8, 2013, for failure to pay fines. She paid a $163 fine after that incident.
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