Celebrity News

Attorneys Seek Venus Williams’ Cellphone In Fatal Crash Case

Attorneys for the family of a 78-year-old Florida man who died after a car crash with tennis star Venus Williams are asking to search her cellphone.

Jerome Barson’s attorneys filed a motion Friday requesting that a forensic expert examine Williams’ phone to determine what she may have been doing when the June 9 crash happened, the Palm Beach Post reports.

‘Evidence gathered thus far indicates (Williams) may have been distracted and or unnecessarily delayed in her reaction to applicable traffic signals and/or surrounding traffic,’ the motion reads.

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Williams was still in the middle of a Palm Beach Gardens intersection on June 9 when the light changed and Linda Barson t-boned the tennis star’s car in a crash that killed her husband Jerome.

In July, Williams opposed a ‘notice of production’, objecting to a motion that asked to see her cellphone records as part of the wrongful death lawsuit filed against her.

Barson’s lawyers say security camera footage shows Williams moving her hand towards her face in the moments before the June 9 collision – and they want to know if she was using a cellphone.

An investigation is still ongoing and officials have not yet determined who was at fault for the crash.

Williams insists her signal was green when she turned into the intersection of Northlake Boulevard and BallenIsles Drive, saying she couldn’t get clear of the intersection because of traffic.

The light turned while Williams was still in the intersection, and Linda Barson was driving a Hyundai Accent when it T-boned the tennis star.

Her husband, who was seated in the passenger seat, was taken to the hospital with internal bleeding and organ damage before he died two weeks later on his wife’s 68th birthday.

A police report initially said Williams was to blame for the crash because she turned left into the Barson’s path and that they had the legal right of way when they slammed into her.

But investigators later said she entered the intersection on a green light and was forced to stop because another car cut in front of her, according to security camera footage.

‘Venus Williams entered that intersection on a green light, her progress was impeded and she had the right by state law to get through the intersection,’ her lawyer Malcolm Cunningham said.

Williams’ attorneys also said Jerome Barson was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash – a claim his lawyers disputed, arguing the car’s ‘black box’ showed both passengers had buckled up.

The Wimbledon finalist is also claiming the Barsons failed to adequately maintain and repair their vehicle and blasts the extent of the plaintiff’s alleged permanent injury, scarring or disfigurement.

The lawsuit claims Linda Barson suffered a crack sternum, a shattered right arm, broken right wrist, hand, and fingers – which Venus is now demanding be stricken from the complaint due to them being ‘immaterial’ and ‘impertinent’ to the case.

According to court papers, Venus is now demanding the estate hand over all autopsy reports, death certificate, copies of marriage certificates, tax returns for past five years, life insurance policies, health insurance policies.

Meanwhile, the Barsons’ attorney Michael Steinger said data from Williams’ SUV shows she accelerated from 0 to 20mph in just four seconds.

Steingner told TMZ that he believes Venus ‘looked up, saw the red light and gunned it’ before being t-boned by the Barsons.


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