Initially, police found tennis superstar Venus Williams “at fault for violating the right of way” in a June 9 car accident with an older couple just outside BallenIsles Country Club in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.
But newly released video suggests that Williams entered the intersection legally, and the police department has since retracted their determination of fault.
On a Friday afternoon, at around 1 p.m., Linda and Jerome Barson’s 2016 Hyundai Accent struck Williams’ 2010 Toyota Sequoia. Venus, 37, walked away unharmed. Linda, 67, was driving and suffered “a cracked sternum, shattered right arm, broken right wrist, hand, and fingers.” Jerome, 78, suffered “severed main arteries, massive internal bleeding, a fractured spine, and massive internal organ damage.” Jerome died on June 22, two weeks later. Jerome Baron’s estate has since sued Williams for wrongful death.
The official police report from the Palm Beach Gardens Police Department estimates Venus was traveling at five miles per hour at the time of the accident. Venus claims she was already in the six-lane intersection, stuck there by backed up traffic when Linda Barson t-boned her. Linda insists Venus was speeding when she ran the red light and entered the intersection in front of her.
Traffic laws are in place to prevent tragedies like this. While time will tell what really happened in this case, it is a fatality that could have easily been prevented by obeying the most basic of traffic laws – either by obeying the red light or clearing out of the middle of an intersection.
Police are still investigating the incident and both parties are negotiating the release and analysis of the black boxes of both vehicles. But police have said that alcohol or drugs played no role in this fatal accident and that neither driver was distracted.
Accidents like this make the news because it involves a major sports star or celebrity, but they happen every day in places like this – in fact, nearly half of traffic accidents occur at intersections. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, side-impact collisions make up a quarter of fatal car accidents.
The most common causes of side-impact collisions are speeding, negligence, distracted driving, and failure to yield. All of these suggest a driver not obeying the rules of the road, which create dangerous conditions for everyone else on the road, no matter how the diligent they might be.
Negligence Can Be Fatal
This accident illustrates how things like this can happen to anyone, anywhere, at any time. A negligent driver does not have to be drunk or high to drive their car into yours and injure you. They do not have to be texting to run you off the road and cause you pain. Simply violating the rules of the road – whether it is speeding, or running a red light – is more than enough for another driver to cause a fatal accident to you or your loved ones.
If you have been injured by someone driving negligently, call one of our Denver personal injury lawyers as soon as possible. You may be entitled to damages, such as compensation for your medical expenses, and our experienced Colorado personal injury attorneys can get you what you deserve and bring these drivers to justice. Call Burg Simpson’s at 303-792-5595 or fill out our FREE CASE EVALUATION FORM right now.