Update: The Palm Beach Gardens Police Department has provided Refinery29 with an emailed statement confirming reports about the incident.
"The Palm Beach Gardens Police Department initiated an investigation into a traffic crash involving Venus Williams on June 9, 2017. The crash occurred at 1:13 P.M. at the intersection of Northlake Boulevard and BallenIsles Drive in the City of Palm Beach Gardens. The passenger of Vehicle 2 (Jerome L. Barson of West Palm Beach, FL) was transported to the hospital, where he later died on June 22, 2017," the statement reads. "As per Florida Statutes, due to the continuing investigation of this incident no additional information will be released at this time."
This story was originally published at 8:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday, June 29.
TMZ reportedly obtained a police report that says Williams is to blame for a car accident that led to a passenger's death. After the Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, accident, a 78-year-old man, Jerome Barson, was taken to an intensive care unit. He died 14 days later after sustaining head trauma.
According to reports, the other car, in which the man was a passenger, was being driven by the victim's wife. The wife "told cops she was approaching an intersection westbound... when Venus' northbound SUV suddenly darted into the intersection," TMZ reported. The sudden swerve apparently caused the victim's wife to T-bone Williams' SUV. The accident happened on 9th June.
According to The New York Times, Williams' lawyer Malcolm Cunningham released the following statement: "Ms. Williams entered the intersection on a green light. The police report estimates that Ms. Williams was traveling at 5 mph 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."
Palm Beach Gardens Maj. Paul Rogers has since said that while the crash is still being investigated, Williams "was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol" at the time of the incident, according to The Associated Press.
For her part, Williams reportedly told the local police that a "traffic backup" led to her slowing her car down after attempting to go through the intersection, TMZ reports.
"[Venus] is at fault for violating the right of way of [the other driver]," TMZ says the police report reads. The outlet adds that there was "no evidence" Williams was "distracted by an electronic device."
A rep for Williams didn't immediately respond to Refinery29's request for comment. We will update this story if we obtain a response.
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