Despite video showing Venus Williams stopped in a Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., intersection to avoid a collision, the attorney for the family of the victim of the fatal June collision says she was accelerating through it.
Michael Steinger, who is representing Linda Barson and the estate of her deceased husband, Jerome Barson, in their wrongful death lawsuit, told TMZ Wednesday, July 26, that the onboard computer data obtained from Williams’ 2010 Toyota Sequoia shows the tennis champion was traveling 19.9 mph when the light turned red. Williams had stopped in the intersection when she had a green light because another car abruptly made a left turn in front of her. Linda Barson, who was driving the couple’s 2016 Hyundai Accent, T-boned Williams at 25 mph, according to a police report. Steinger said data shows Williams went from 0 to nearly 20 mph within 4.2 seconds, however, according to a police report, Williams told officers she slowed down to 5 mph.
Steinger told People magazine Wednesday that investigators had obtained information from the Accent’s data box that showed the Barsons were wearing seat belts at the time of the crash, refuting claims that Jerome Barson, who was in the passenger seat, was unbuckled. In Williams’ June 21 filing in response to the suit obtained by the publication, she alleged Jerome Barson, who ultimately died from a head injury as a result of the accident, was not wearing a seat belt.
“Defendant states that the injuries and/or damages to the Plaintiff were solely and/or proximately caused by the unreasonable failure of the Plaintiff to use an available and operational seat belt and the time of the accident,” the documents said.
Williams’ filing also claims the Barsons did not sufficiently service and maintain their vehicle, which Steinger denied by saying the Accent was a new car and “inspection papers can prove [it] was in perfect working order.”