In body camera footage released from the fatal June car accident involving Venus Williams, an officer says he doesn’t “feel comfortable” citing the tennis star after the collision.
Palm Beach Gardens Officer David Dowling initially approached Williams saying she was at fault after she was T-boned by Linda Barson, who was driving through an intersection as her husband, Jerome Barson, sat in the passenger seat. However, in the clip obtained by The Palm Beach Post Thursday, July 27, he later said he’s not entirely sure.
“You just got stuck in a bad situation here,” he says. “Let the insurance companies work it out. I don’t feel comfortable writing you a citation when I’m not 100 percent sure, and I’m not 100 percent sure in this case. Because you had the right of way, you lost the right of way, they had the right of way, also. It’s just one of those awkward situations.”
A security video released of the collision shows Williams exiting her gated community Sunday, June 9, and being forced to stop in the intersection when another vehicle turns left in front of her, according to a police report. Williams’ attorney, Malcolm Cunningham, issued a statement to TMZ after a wrongful death suit was filed against her, saying Williams entered the intersection on a green light. Linda Barson said in a police report obtained by the website that she T-boned Williams because she had no time to stop.
Linda Barson, who is in shock in the footage as she speaks to a police officer, suffered broken bones while her husband’s injuries included head trauma, leading him to be transferred to a local hospital. He was placed in the intensive care unit, according to the lawsuit, and died two weeks later.