Venus Williams breaks down over fatal car crash
VENUS Williams has broken down in tears as she reflected on the fatal car accident which has left her facing a wrongful-death lawsuit.
A police report says Williams is responsible for the accident in Florida last month, which caused injuries to a 78-year-old Jerome Barson, who subsequently died.
Barson's family has since filed the lawsuit against former world No 1 Williams, alleging negligence.
Williams could not contain her emotions when questioned by US reporters after a 7-6 (9-7) 6-4 victory over Belgian Elise Mertens.
"Yeah, life, you can't prepare for everything. I prepared for a lot of matches, tried to get ready for whatever my opponent will throw at you, but you can't prepare for everything," the 36-year-old said.
"I have no idea what tomorrow will bring. That's all I can say about it. That's what I've learned.
"There are really no words to describe, like, how devastating ... yeah. I'm completely speechless."
After wiping away tears, Williams said "Maybe I should go" and left the room.
According to the lawsuit lodged against Williams, the impact of the crash caused damage to both vehicles.
The Barsons' 2016 Hyundai Accent was "crushed, the front windshield shattered, the airbags deployed, there was crush damage to the rear on the driver's side, and the back window was shattered."
Williams' 2010 Toyota Sequoia "was also severely damaged," the suit says.
The lawsuit states Barson's injuries included "severed main arteries, massive internal bleeding, a fractured spine, and massive internal organ damage."
His wife's injuries included, per the lawsuit, a cracked sternum and shattered right arm. She also broke her right wrist, hand and several fingers.
According to the police report, Linda Barson told police she was travelling west in the right lane and approaching an intersection, slowing for a traffic light.
The report says the light changed to green, and Barson said she drove through the intersection when Williams' 2010 Toyota Sequoia cut across in front of her car.
Barson said she was unable to avoid crashing into Williams.
Williams, according to the report, told police she was stopped in the median of the intersection because of other traffic.
Williams also said she did not see the Barsons' car when she crossed the intersection. The report says Williams was driving an estimated speed of eight kmh.
Venus Williams defeated Belgium's Elise Mertens in the first round at Wimbledon. Picture: AFP/Glyn Kirk
Venus Williams defeated Belgium's Elise Mertens in the first round at Wimbledon. Picture: AFP/Glyn KirkSource:AFP
Williams' lawyer Malcolm Cunningham, in a statement to CNN, said: "Ms. Williams entered the intersection on a green light.
"The police report estimates that Ms. Williams was travelling at [eight kmh] when Mrs. Barson crashed into her.
"Authorities did not issue Ms. Williams with any citations or traffic violations. This is an unfortunate accident and Venus expresses her deepest condolences to the family who lost a loved one."
Originally published as Tearful Williams storms out of press conference