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Venus Williams deposed in fatal car crash case

Julian Finney/Getty Images for WTA
Julian Finney/Getty Images for WTA

(PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla.) — Venus Williams arrived at her lawyer’s West Palm Beach, Florida, office earlier Thursday morning to give a deposition related to the fatal car crash that killed an elderly man last June.

The tennis champion faces a wrongful death lawsuit from the family of Jerome Barson, 78, who died from injuries sustained in the crash on June 9 in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

Jerome Barson’s wife, Linda Barson, was driving a Hyundai Accent when it hit Williams’ Toyota Sequoia at an intersection. Jerome Barson was taken to a local hospital and died more than a week later from organ failure.

The lawsuit, filed by the Barsons’ daughter, alleges wrongful death action, and the family is seeking damages in excess of $15,000, according to a copy of the lawsuit obtained by ABC News. The family claims Williams is at fault for being in the middle of the intersection on a red light.

The Palm Beach Gardens Police Department, which investigated the crash, released police surveillance video footage which they said showed that Williams “lawfully entered” the intersection.

In a statement from July, police said Williams was trying to travel north through the intersection, when a “Nissan Altima entered the intersection traveling south, and made a left turn in front of Williams’ vehicle, causing her to stop advancing through the intersection to avoid a collision.”

As Williams began to travel north again through the intersection, Linda Barson, with her husband as a passenger, was traveling west and came to a red light that “then cycled to green, at which time Barson continued westbound and entered the intersection. The front end of Barson’s vehicle collided with the right front of Williams’ vehicle,” the statement from police said.

Williams was not ticketed for the crash.

After the police surveillance footage was released, Williams’ attorney, Malcolm Cunningham, said in a statement that “once Ms. Williams entered the intersection lawfully, she had the right to proceed through the intersection and other vehicles including those with a red light changing to green, were obligated to yield the right-of-way to Ms. Williams.”

He added, “Ms. Williams is grateful for the continued diligence and efforts of the Palm Beach Gardens Police Department in its investigation. At the same time, as this process moves forward, she remains deeply saddened by the loss suffered by the Barson family and continues to keep them in her thoughts and prayers.”

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