Venus Williams Reaches Settlement in Fatal Car Crash

78-year-old Jerome Barson was killed in June 2017

By Meg Swertlow Nov 21, 2018 12:48 AMTags
Venus Williams, Car AccidentBarson Family; Getty

UPDATE: Venus Williams has reached a settlement in the case of a 2017 fatal car crash that left 78-year-old Jerome Barson dead. Court documents obtained by E! News show that the legal settlement was filed at a courthouse in West Palm Beach, Fla. on Nov. 15. 

The documents do not state the financial stipulations behind the agreement, with the exception that each party will pay its own legal fees and costs.


It's been a bumpy few months for Venus Williams, but she got a bout of good news today when the Palm Beach Gardens Police Department released that based on the findings that it would not be filing charges against the tennis star over her fatal car crash in June that left one man dead, E! News can confirm.

The Palm Beach Gardens Police Department told E! News, "Based upon this investigation and relevant Florida State Statutes, no charges will be filed in this case."

On June 9, Williams was involved in a collision with Jerome Barson and his wife on June 9 in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. The 78-year-old man died two weeks later after being taken to the ICU with head trauma. The victim's wife (who suffered broken bones and other injuries) was behind the wheel and approaching an intersection when the tennis pro's 2010 Toyota Sequoia SUV moved into the intersection at the same time.

Celebrity Deaths: 2017's Fallen Stars
Barson Family

At the time of the incident, the driver of the 2016 Hyundai Accent told authorities there wasn't enough time to stop her car from colliding with the side of Williams' vehicle. Meanwhile, the sports star claimed that she entered the intersection on a green light, but because of traffic, she slowed her car down and thus could not clear the intersection. Additionally, Williams said she did not see the Barsons' car when she crossed into the lanes.

A previous police report said that Williams was being held responsible for the accident, with a portion of the report stating, "[Venus] is at fault for violating the right of way of [the other driver]."

However, today's final report found that neither Serena Williams' sister nor the Barsons, who t-boned the sports star, violated the other's right of way.

According to today's official report, "This crash occurred on Friday, June 9th,2017, at approximately 1:13 pm...at its intersection with Ballenisles Drive/Steeplechase Drive, Palm Beach Gardens, Palm Beach County, Florida. This was a crash involving two motor vehicles. There were three people involved. Two people were transported to St Mary's Medical Center, for injuries sustained in the crash, one of whom later died on June 22nd, 2017."

The report also states that neither lighting nor weather were a factor in the crash.

On June 30, Williams spoke out on Facebook, writing, "I am devastated and heartbroken by this accident. My heartfelt condolences go out to the family and friends of Jerome Barson and I continue to keep them in my thoughts and prayers."

In October, the tennis star and her lawyers claimed that an unidentified individual was operating a dark color sedan type vehicle around the time of the incident.

Moments before the accident occurred, Serena's team alleges that the driver "in breach and violation of the duties owed to those on the road, completed an improper left-hand-turn in front and in violation of the right of way of the vehicle operated by Ms. Williams causing her to slow and stop in order to avoid contact."

The documents go on to state, "as a direct and proximate result of the negligence and breach of duty by the operator of the sedan, the vehicle operated by Linda A. Barson subsequently impacted the vehicle driven by Ms. Williams."

We've reached out to Williams' attorney for comment.

(This article was originally published on Dec. 20, 2017 at 5:32 p.m.)