On June 9, tennis superstar Venus Williams was involved in a wreck in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. that killed 78-year-old Jerome Barson and severely injured his wife, Linda. According to original reports, the older couple were lawfully crossing an intersection in their Hyundai Accent when they T-boned Williams, who was driving a Toyota Sequoia. It was initially believed that she ran a red light, causing the accident.
After video footage of the wreck was released, officials indicated that Williams was in the intersection lawfully, but had to stop to allow a car to turn left. The light turned red while she was stuck in the intersection; however, she continued through the intersection.
Mr. Barson, who was in the passenger seat at the time of the wreck, died two weeks after the incident from injuries he sustained. It was then that Mrs. Barson filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Williams. Her legal team denied all allegations of wrongdoing. However, there was a piece of evidence missing: data from the vehicles’ on-board computers, a.k.a. black boxes.
After experts downloaded and investigated the data, it was discovered that Williams rapidly accelerated from 0 to 20 miles per hour in a matter of four seconds to get through the intersection. The Barsons’ attorney, Michael Steinger, said he believes Williams “looked up, saw the red light and gunned it.”
Before this data was revealed, Williams had told police that she was traveling through the intersection at about 5 miles per hour. Her legal team has maintained that the injuries sustained by the Barsons were so severe because at least one of them was not wearing a seat belt. However, the data recovered from their Accent’s black box may disprove that.
Williams’ legal team has also said the Barsons failed to adequately maintain and repair their vehicle, leading to more severe injuries. Her legal team is demanding the Barsons turn over a variety of documents, including autopsy reports, insurance policies and more. There has been no word yet on what documents, if any, will be provided.
If you have been injured in a car accident in West Palm Beach that wasn’t your fault, you have legal rights. Contact the team of experienced personal injury attorneys at Steinger, Greene & Feiner today for a free, no-obligation consultation.