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Venus Williams 'heartbroken' over fatal Florida car crash

The accident remains under investigation and the American star has not been charged.

Venus Williams makes her way to the practice courts during a preview day at the The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London.
Venus Williams makes her way to the practice courts during a preview day at the The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London.
Image: PA Wire/PA Images

US TENNIS STAR Venus Williams said she is “devastated and heartbroken” over the fatal car crash that the victim’s family says will prompt them to file a wrongful death suit against her.

In a post on her Facebook page, Williams made her first public comments on the 9 June car crash in which police said she was “at fault”.

“I am devastated and heartbroken by this accident,” Williams wrote. “My heartfelt condolences go out to the family and friends of Jerome Barson and I continue to keep them in my thoughts and prayers.”

Williams, 37, is a seven-time Grand Slam champion who won five Wimbledon titles from 2000 to 2008 plus the 2000 and 2001 US Opens.

Williams, seeded 10th in her 20th Wimbledon appearance, is set to face Belgium’s Elise Mertens in a first-round match Monday on the England grass courts.

Attorney Michael Steinger told ABC television on Friday that Barson’s family will file a wrongful death suit over the incident in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

Barson, who suffered head injuries in the accident, died two weeks later on 22 June.

A Palm Beach Gardens police report said Williams’ 2010 Toyota Sequoia SUV and a 2016 Hyundai Accent driven by Barson’s wife, Linda Barson, collided in an intersection.

The accident remains under investigation and Williams has not been charged.

Williams’ attorney, Malcolm Cunningham, said police estimated Williams was traveling only 5 mph when struck by Barson’s car.

This is an unfortunate accident and Venus expresses her deepest condolences to the family who lost a loved one,” he said.

Cunningham said Williams entered an intersection on a green light that turned red during her turn, but she was stuck in the intersection because of traffic.

The police report said Williams was deemed at fault for blocking the right of way of the other vehicle.

(C) AFP 2017

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