During a post-game press conference on Monday, tennis star Venus Williams couldn’t hold back her tears. She wasn’t overjoyed by her win, however, she was emotional because she was asked about the fatal car accident she was involved in last month.
On June 9, Williams was T-boned in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. She walked away unharmed, but the two individuals inside the other car were badly injured.
Tragically, the passenger, Jerome Barson passed away 14 days later from his sustained injuries.
He was 78-years-old, and his wife of 33 years, Linda, was driving at the time.
According to reports, Williams told police she entered the intersection northbound, but traffic forced her to crawl to a stop, leaving the intersection blocked. Barson told officials she entered the intersection westbound, but Williams’s car was suddenly in front of her, and there was no time to slow down.
TMZ reported that Williams was ruled at fault for the fatal crash. Police stated:
“[Venus] is at fault for violating the right of way of [the other driver].”
The police report also stated that Williams was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol. There was also no evidence that she had been distracted by a cellphone. Although the investigation is still ongoing, it’s unlikely Williams will be charged with vehicular manslaughter because there were no reports of negligence.
However, according to Fox News, the victim’s estate filed a lawsuit on June 30 seeking unspecified damages.
Barson’s attorney, Michael Steinger, alleged that Williams ran a red light, failed to yield the right of way, and he accused her of inattentive driving as well as the negligent operation of a motor vehicle.
He also stated that Linda is “physically and emotionally devastated” after losing her husband, saying:
“This was the love of her life that she spent every day with. They did everything together.”
The two shared three children and 13 grandchildren.
Williams’s attorney released a statement saying that Williams gave “her deepest condolences to the family who lost a loved one.”
And on Monday, she echoed that sentiment when asked about the tragic accident, saying:
“Completely devastating, speechless. I am just…”
Venus breaks down in press room pic.twitter.com/SwCU02zNyE
— Joe Fleming (@ByJoeFleming) July 3, 2017
Williams then began crying. The moderator quickly jumped in:
“She can’t say anything more about this, so I would ask you to respect her wishes, please.”
But the tennis star couldn’t go on. She reportedly told the moderator she needed to leave.
Williams is expected to continue playing in Wimbledon’s second round.