Jerome Barson, 78, died on June 22, two weeks after being involved in a car accident with professional tennis player Venus Williams.
Barson’s wife, Linda, was driving the couple’s Toyota Accent when it collided with Williams’ 2010 Toyota Sequoia SUV. Palm Beach Gardens Police say witnesses told investigators that Williams ran a red light, which led to the crash. Williams claims that she was in the middle of the intersection and was forced to slow down because of traffic, and did not see Barson’s vehicle when she started moving again.
The police report states, “[Williams] is at fault for violating the right of way of [the other driver].”
As a result of the incident, Barson was immediately rushed to the hospital, and placed in the ICU. The investigation is ongoing.
Read on to learn more about Jerome Barson.
1. He Suffered Head Trauma and Internal Bleeding From the Crash
Jerome suffered internal bleeding, a fractured spine, head trauma, and internal organ damage from the crash, according to TMZ Sports. He was immediately transported to the ICU, where he remained until his death 14 days later.
The outlet reports that Linda suffered from a cracked sternum and multiple broken bones.
2. He Was Married to His Wife for Over 33 Years
Jerome and Linda were married for over 33 years, according to TMZ. Jerome passed away on his wife’s 68th birthday.
On June 22, a relative of the couple, named Moshe Martin Cohen, posted a photo to Facebook in memory of Jerome. Friends expressed their condolences to the family in the comments section of the Facebook post.
The Barson family’s lawyer, Michael Streinger, said the whole family is “distraught” and that Jerome “fought for his life for 14 days.”
3. Barson’s Family Is Filing a Lawsuit Against Williams
Michael Steinger, the attorney for Linda Barson, said that the Barson family will file suit against Williams over the accident. Speaking to Good Morning America, Steinger said that the family is doing their best to get police to release video evidence of the accident, but their efforts have been unsuccessful.
According to a lawsuit obtained by TMZ, Venus “failed to yield the right of way, blew through a red light, drove too fast while distracted, and recklessly created a situation where the accident was unavoidable.”
4. Williams Has Called It an ‘Unfortunate Accident’
Thursday afternoon, Williams came forward to publicly discuss the incident from her point of view. She described it as an “unfortunate accident”.
Williams’ attorney, Malcolm Cunningham, says that police reports estimate that Williams’ was driving 5 mph when her car collided with the Barson’s vehicle.
The tennis pro is slated to play at Wimbleodn next week. She’s won the single title five times.
5. The Attorney Representing the Barson Family Says He Believes Police Have ‘Impeded’ the Investigation Into the Car Accident
According to ABC News, the family representing the Barson’s “believes police have ‘impeded’ their investigation into the car accident involving Williams that claimed the life of Barson and injured his wife, Linda Barson.”
On Good Morning America, Michael Steinger said:
There are video cameras that were placed at guard houses where Ms. Williams lives and the police have refused, after multiple requests, to turn those over to us and we would like to see a visual portrayal of the accident on those videos… They have impounded all the vehicles and have impeded our ability to conduct our investigation and to be able to move forward.”