Venus Williams breaks down in tears when asked about her deadly car accident

Venus Williams at Wimbledon Tennis Championships

A week ago, there was a lot of conversation about how Venus Williams could possibly make a very deep run at Wimbledon this year, with Serena out for the rest of the year on maternity leave, and some of the other strong contenders like Petra Kvitova and Victoria Azarenka only returning to the tour in the past month. Venus has won Wimbledon five times, and it’s arguably her favorite tournament and it’s where she gets her best results. The issue is that Venus is now being sued as a result of a deadly car accident near her home in Florida – I covered the accident and Venus’s statement about it over the weekend. A man died as a result of a two-car accident, and his widow is suing Venus, claiming that Venus caused the accident (Venus claims she had a green light, but got caught in an intersection because of traffic).

In any case, Venus is feeling pretty raw. If this was any other tournament, I suspect Venus might have just gone home, spent some time talking to her lawyer and her insurance company, and processing everything. But because Wimbledon is Wimbledon, Venus is there. She won her first-round match on Monday, and during the media availability after the match, a reporter asked her about the car accident. Venus was so upset, she couldn’t even get a full sentence out, and her voice broke with emotion: “There are really no words to describe how devastating… I’m speechless, and I’m just…” She wiped away tears and the moderator told the reporters that Venus cannot really speak about this (likely under direction from her lawyer). Here’s the video:

I don’t want to be accused of… whatever, being a Venus Apologist, but this video is heartbreaking. From what we know of the car accident, it was just that, an accident. Both drivers made bad decisions and Venus is being sued and she will probably end up settling with the man’s widow. She likely made her statement on Facebook over the weekend so that she wouldn’t have to sit there in a press conference and get these questions, because she knew she would end up crying. I genuinely feel sorry for her. Every single person has made a bad call or a mistake while driving and most of us are lucky that those mistakes don’t end up being life-or-death decisions for which we’ll be judged for the rest of our lives.

Photos courtesy of Pacific Coast News and Getty.

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83 Responses to “Venus Williams breaks down in tears when asked about her deadly car accident”

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  1. OriginallyBlue says:

    I saw a clip of this at the gym last night and I felt bad for her. I feel bad for the widow and can’t imagine how much pain she’s in losing her husband. I feel bad for Venus as well because she unintentionally ended someone’s life and I don’t know how I could handle that. She probably has so much guilt over it. It’s all very sad.

  2. Nancy says:

    I disagree with Kaiser. This wasn’t a fender bender. A life was lost. I would pull out. I have no idea how she could get an iota of focus with this deadly accident weighing so heavily on her mind and heart. So very sad to all involved.

    • smcollins says:

      I understand what you’re saying, but at the same time I think she needs this to pull her focus away from it. She can channel her feelings into her playing as a way of coping. Tennis may be her profession but I think it’s also comforting & therapeutic for her.

      Edit: I know she could play in private but I think actually competing is therapeutic as well and gives her more focus

      • Nancy says:

        I just read more about the accident. She was found at fault, but not charged in the accident. Witnesses say she ran a red light. She is emotionally bruised and damaged. I’m sure it can’t be easy for the wife of the man who lost his life to watch Venus compete for a championship so soon after his death. Venus has to learn to cope and accept the tragedy. As I said before, it’s just very sad all the way around.

    • detritus says:

      I agree with smcollins.
      While the optics may not be perfect, its better for her to play most likely.
      The accident may pull her focus, but its better than being her sole focus.

      There are no winners in this situation. I hope Venus and the widow can come to an agreement that while it does not bring a man back from the dead, at least provides some solace to the both of them.

  3. V4Real says:

    Getting stuck in intersections happens quite often. NYC has the rule “do not block the box”. In other words you can proceed if you have a green light but if you can’t make it across the intersection without blocking it you must stay put. NYC traffic is the worse and cars do at time get caught in the intersection due to traffic jams.

    But what I’m not understanding did the driver of the other vehicle proceed just because she had a green light but failed to see Serena stuck in the intersection and crashed into her? Was she not paying attention or became nervous.

    • V4Real says:

      I meant Venus.

    • rrabbit says:

      The other car was on the right lane, and there was at least one car in the middle lane. It is possible that Venus Williams could not see that car, and that the driver in that car could not see Venus Williams’ car.

    • Zip says:

      It’s the same in Germany. If you can’t cross the intersection you have to stay where you are – in front of the traffic light – no matter if it’s green or not. Sadly, people very often don’t follow this simple rule and block the intersection, creating very dangerous situations for other cars and especially for cyclists & pedestrians!

  4. ArchieGoodwin says:

    I don’t know the rules in Florida, but here if you cannot safely get through the entire intersection at once, you must wait at the white line and not enter the intersection at all. No stopping in an intersection (or in front of a side road) at all.
    So if she was stopped in an intersection, even on a green, that might be why she is at fault? I don’t know, I’m asking, because here yes, she would be at fault.

    That said, it seems callous to continue playing. Like when Jenner posed in a red sports car weeks after she killed someone.

    ETA: maybe she thought she could safely cross and got stuck, it happens, but if it’s against the law maybe it’s why she is liable. ?

    • ArchieGoodwin says:

      I also want to say it’s time for reporters to stop asking her. I see genuine remorse here (unlike with Jenner), so at this point it is cruel to keep asking her. She is paying, and will pay, for this.

      though I guess if she pulled out, it wouldn’t be an issue. I don’t know anymore, the whole thing is sad.

    • cr says:

      I don’t drive, but it’s probably the rule here in Ohio as well. And yet, it happens at every single intersection. Our public transit drivers do it all the time, never mind everyone else. I’m surprised there aren’t more accidents because of it.

    • AnnaKist says:

      I live in Australia, and in my state, it’s the same rule: even on a green light, stay where you are, behind the line, if you can’t make it fully out of the intersection. That said, I’ve seen traffic flowing freely, albeit slowly, through an intersection, when one car just out of the intersection suddenly stops for some reason, and another is stuck behind that car, blocking the intersection. My best friend’s car broke down in the mddle of a very busy intersection. She was really lucky, as there was a policeman on his way to work, who got out of his car and directed traffic safely around her car, while four burly road workers pushed her car off the road and into a safe spot.

      I saw the clip today, and it is very sad to watch. If it was me, I’d have stayed home, but shying away is not in Venus’s make up, which is why/how she’s achieved the heights she has, and I…haven’t. I don’t think this was the time or place for reporters to ask about this issue. It’s just so incredibly sad.

    • jwoolman says:

      She apparently wasn’t charged with anything. That suggests her story was not unbelievable. If the widow is sueing, I imagine forensics people will be looking at the situation more closely. If there is any surveillance video, that will help sort it out.

    • The Other Katherine says:

      I’ve seen several comments about Serena being found “at fault,” and don’t understand how people are making that determination. She wasn’t cited by police, and absent any admission of fault by Serena, fault would be disputed between the insurance companies. For the widow’s lawsuit to succeed, her lawyers will have to demonstrate that a preponderance of evidence shows Serena was at fault — but that hasn’t happened yet. People (not specific posters here, just in general) need to slow their roll on deciding who’s at fault until more evidence is available. Like jwoolman infers, the fact that the police didn’t cite anyone means that the question of fault is most likely rather murky here.

      While it’s not relevant to the question of fault for the accident, I do wonder whether the deceased was wearing his seatbelt. That level of injury in a non-head-on collision at an intersection, where the car was probably not back up to the speed limit after slowing before the light changed, would be very unusual if the passenger was restrained properly.

  5. Lilly says:

    I’ll save most of my sympathy for the man who lost his life and his family. I get that these tragedies happen and she must feel awful, but she’s not the victim here.

    And if I were her manager, I’d have insisted she pull out of this tournament. Even if she wins the title, I don’t think it’s a time to celebrate.

    • Esmom says:

      Wow, can’t there be compassion for all involved in this tragedy? Venus may have walked away from the crash but she’s clearly devastated.

      • LadyT says:

        I agree.

      • slowsnow says:

        I agree too. Venus made a mistake, clearly and is probably devastated. A woman lost her husband. There is nothing positive in this story except that some people escaped and survived. It is hard for everyone.

        Re: Venus playing tennis. Why should she have stopped? It’s her work. Although she likes her work, it’s still what she does for a living and not a hobby. It probably keeps her sane in a horrible tragedy. Being responsible for someone dying is no light matter and people cope differently. I wento through a devastating personal issue last year and it was the pleasure I took in doing my work that kept me going.

      • lucy2 says:

        This. I feel sympathy for all involved. This wasn’t an intentional or malicious thing, it was an accident, and Venus has to live with the trauma of it as well.
        Of course it’s not the same as the man who died and his wife who lost him and was injured, but all parties are suffering to some extent here.

    • AnnaKist says:

      I don’t for a minute believe that Venus is trying to come off as a victim. She’s been involved in a tragic event. Her grief in no way dimishes that of the bereaved lady or her family. My daughter witnessed a fatality on a busy road. She was the only person to stop, call the ambulamce and and try to assist the 35-year-old driver, a father of 3, who died while she held his hand. The driver who crashed into his car fled the scene. She was traumatised for months afterwards, even though she had nothing to do with the crash. Such incidents are devastating for all involved.

    • ls_boston says:

      Lilly, I’m with you on this. I don’t have an opinion on what Venus should be doing but it isn’t her I feel for here. I disagree with your respondents so I just felt the need to weigh in and back you on this one.

    • Lilly says:

      @AnnaKist. Ok, I never said Venus is trying to be the victim. I said that most my sympathy goes to the real victim (who lost his life) and to his family. I see people on here and other sites blaming the other driver for running into her and ‘both drivers made bad decisions’ makes it sound like they share the blame, but that’s not the case as far as it’s been reported. You don’t cross an intersection if there’s no room to exit, whether you have the light or not.

      @Esmom. I agree she’s devastated, but I stand by my comment. This poor man suffered internal bleeding and head trauma and was in the hospital for two weeks before he died. And sadly it was her fault.

      @Slowsnow. I’m not saying she shouldn’t work if it helps her cope, but unlike whatever job you have, tennis players don’t have to play every tournament. Considering that most of her money comes from endorsements based on her image, it’s not a great time to be back on the court and answering uncomfortable questions.

      @Is_Boston. Thank you. I think there’s a lot of grey here, but there’s a disconnect sometimes when a celebrity is involved in a fatal accident. You can feel sorry for Venus and also acknowledge that there are consequences to our actions and that a life was lost.

      • AnnaKist says:

        Thanks, Lilly. I truly wasn’t inferring anything like that from your comment, and wasn’t directing my response to you personally. Sincere apologies if I caused any offence.

      • Lionika says:

        I agree with you Lilly, esp the bit about most of your sympathy going to the real victim. And like you said, there is a disconnect when a celebrity is involved, especially a well-liked one. It’s too bad. Even in the original post, the author says this:

        “Every single person has made a bad call or a mistake while driving and most of us are lucky that those mistakes don’t end up being life-or-death decisions for which we’ll be judged for the rest of our lives.”

        I agree with this sentiment, but life-or-death decisions for which we’ll be judged?? As if the being judged is the main tragedy here. I don’t know, maybe I’m being nitpicky. I do feel for Venus of course, but let’s not forget the real victims here!

    • Veronica says:

      It may not be an option if she has sponsors that are backing the tournament. Pragmatically, she’s likely going to wind up settling out with this woman for a hefty amount, so there’s the financial aspect to consider if she leaves work.

      This being said, it is a shame that the attention is going to Venus when it was the woman’s husband who died. Car accidents are scary shit.

  6. Beth says:

    I was visiting someone near where this happened. It sure wasn’t just a little bump or fender bender. She was at fault, but it’s not like she did it on purpose. Things like this happen, I feel bad that she’ll have to remember this, but I feel worse for the family who lost someone they love

  7. BJ says:

    Yes the other lady had the right of way but she hit Venus so I think that’s why Venus wasn’t given a ticket.It’s unfortunate.I just avoided an accident yesterday because of something I learned in defensive driving class several years ago.My instructor told me many accidents are not caused by drunk drivers or distracted drivers but by drivers running red lights.So when the traffic light turns green don’t immediately proceed ,but pause for a second.Yesterday I wasn’t hit because I paused when my light turned green.
    RIP to the gentleman killed and prayers and condolences to his loved ones.

    • Emma33 says:

      Wow, that is great advice. I will remember that!

      • Imqrious2 says:

        Eons ago, when I took Driver’s Ed in high school, I’ll never forget the instructor who told us: “At a stop sign intersection, stop, and ALWAYS count to three after looking both ways before proceeding. Same at a stoplight: when the light turns green, count to three, LOOK, and THEN proceed. Always look for someone running a light or stop sign.”

        That was 45 years ago (yes, sigh, I’m that old! lol), but to this day, I still “count to three” in my head at *every* intersection. It has literally saved me from an accident MANY times, as a LOT of drivers here in the L.A. area run stop signs/red lights. We also have the fun occurrence of what’s called the “California Roll” (not the Sushi kind lol), where people don’t make a complete stop and just “roll through” the intersection, barely stopping.

        We do have the “no blocking an intersection” law here, too (it’s even painted on the ground in a lot of places), yet SO MANY people just ignore it!

    • Kaye says:

      It’s funny how those comments stick with you: my long-ago driving instructor said basically the same thing, adding, “You could be right – dead right.”

    • Lady D says:

      I always look twice too, BJ. A semi would have gone right over my little truck one day last year at an intersection if I hadn’t waited. I would have been crushed with my son. It was a year ago and I still have the occasional sleepless night over that. Always take a second look before you pull out.

    • Meredith says:

      I live on the northside of Chicago, so I walk a lot and there are always a lot of pedestrians out. I have seen so many people almost hit by cars because they immediately start crossing the street as soon as the walk sign changes, even though there are still cars coming because the light turned red before they got through the intersection. Even if you are technically in the right to cross the street, or drive through the intersection, always double check.

      • Tessy says:

        Oh jeez… The ones who poke their baby strollers out into the crosswalk first are the worst.

      • lucy2 says:

        Tessy, last year I had a green light and people decided to cross against it right in front of me, pushing a stroller ahead of them. They couldn’t wait the 30 seconds for the crosswalk, apparently. Luckily I wasn’t going fast and was able to stop. People can be so stupid and reckless sometimes.

        I agree about pausing when you get a green, I was saying that on the other post about this, I see so many people running red lights. I always pause and check to be sure no one is barreling through, in a hurry or not paying attention.

    • SharkBait says:

      I always do that too. Plenty of drivers make left turns after their arrow goes away even though they weren’t out in the intersection. It’s also best to pause a second to make sure the intersection is clear, not everyone follows the “don’t block the box” rule.
      This is a sad situation. I feel bad for the woman and her family but Venus will live with guilt forever.

    • Magnoliarose says:

      So true. I learned that too. I never run yellow lights.
      Once I was driving when I was 7 months pregnant and my first born wasn’t even two and some guy came crashing into my car on the side where my child was sitting. Luckily no one was hurt but when he saw me and that a small child was in the car he burst into tears. The thing was he tried to run a yellow but it was red before he even made it to the stoplight.

      It is not worth it to rush recklessly like that. Being late is a lot better than being injured or worse. Pause. I see people driving like maniacs through intersections.

  8. Tan says:

    She should play otherwise all she will do is think of the lawsuit and the death.

    I am curious though. What I learnt in driving school was that even if we have green light, if there is too much traffic, better not to pull into a intersection. Wait at the signal. Hearing horns blare and people curse you is much better than accident and life risk.

    I hope she comes out of it and condolences to the widow.

    • Hazel says:

      Sometimes you just get stuck, you just do. Traffic could be moving along, slowly, but moving, and then a few blocks away the light turns red, everybody stops, and now several blocks back, there you are, stuck in the middle of an intersection. It happens a LOT in Honolulu. I think, as more than one person has said, the other driver saw a green & picked up speed again (she had been slowing for the light) without really paying attention. You have to stay vigilant when driving at all times.
      I’ve made both these driving mistakes–stuck in an intersection on red & slowing at a red then speeding up as it turns green, then hitting the car in front of me. Constant vigilance is key, constant scanning of your surroundings is necessary. At all times.

  9. Annetommy says:

    I am not a huge fan of either sister, but this question was nothing to do with tennis, and that’s what those reporters are there to ask about. Totally uncalled for. It’s one thing having to answer questions in court, but at a press conference about your match? No wonder she was upset. Of course it’s very sad for the family who lost their loved one.

  10. Louise177 says:

    I know most people think Venus should go to jail and pay millions but I don’t think she’s as big a fault as people make her out to be. People keep saying that she shouldn’t have gone into the intersection if couldn’t clear the green light but how would she know? She didn’t go on yellow and I don’t know how long the light was green. She probably thought she would make it. I’ve got caught in an intersection when only a couple of cars were in front of me. It just so happened that traffic got worse and I couldn’t make it. Also the people were elderly. If they were 10-20 years younger, loss of life may not have happened. Considering she wasn’t under the influence or using electronics, I just don’t think Venus is as horrible as people make her out to be.

    • Merritt says:

      I think people attacking her are holy than thou. The reality is that similar situations of being in the intersection have happened to a large number of drivers.

    • ls_boston says:

      I don’t know who says Venus should go to prison given that she hasn’t even been charged although found at-fault – even though I’m not sure how that follows. Regardless, I’m writing about your point that you were stopped in an intersection with a few cars in front of you on a green. That right there is against the law – green doesn’t automatically mean go, not if the net result is stopping in an intersection.

      On to Venus, she was moving in the intersection – either moving in to or changing lanes or some such thing when the other side had green. To blame the other people for being old when Car-1 (Venus’) was entering or changing lanes in the intersection on a red is just contortionist. Venus is at-fault regardless how many titles she has won; blaming the victims for being victims is not rational.

      • jwoolman says:

        The age is relevant because of the difference in reflexes, and every second counts in such a situation. We do usually slow down with age. Our vision often isn’t the same as it used to be also, even with glasses. Also medication can slow us down – the first-generation antihistamines certainly did that to me and I didn’t want to drive under the influence.

        This is all very individual, though, so I don’t know if it applies to that driver on that day. But that’s why someone could legitimately say that a younger version of the driver might have avoided the accident or slowed down enough in time to make it a non-fatal one. The big mistake, though, was not wearing the seat belts.

    • PennyLane says:

      The whole thing is a tragedy, and obviously the family that lost their husband/Dad is suffering the most. But sometimes accidents happen and I have in the past gotten partially caught in an intersection because traffic was moving when the light turned green, so I started driving into the intersection but then it stopped and I was trapped. It is a horrible feeling to not be able to get your car out of a vulnerable spot knowing that someone might hit you. I really feel for Venus having made that mistake – it is a common mistake when driving in stop-and-go traffic. Usually it resolves within 30 seconds or so but in that 30 seconds it is a very scary feeling knowing that you are exposed and that you were wrong when estimating how quickly the other cars were moving out of the intersection.

      It sounds like the other driver had no situational awareness and just sailed into Venus’ vehicle. How fast were they going? It’s puzzling and frightening that fatal injuries occurred.

      Also since only one of the vehicles was moving, this was basically a single-car accident (compared to if both cars were going 30 mph and the combined impact was a 60 mph crash) so it is surprising that the man who died was so grievously injured. Was he wearing his seat belt?? Did he have multiple preexisting medical conditions that contributed to his poor health? What is the driving history of the woman who drove her car at full speed into a Toyota Sequoia – it’s not exactly a hard-to-miss vehicle.

      The whole thing is tragic and everyone involved seems to be devastated. Condolences to everyone. What a mess.

    • jwoolman says:

      If they were wearing seat belts, at those speeds he would probably be alive today. Although Venus apparently was moving quite slowly, their car might have been going at top speed for the road if the driver had a green light by the time she reached the intersection. The first bad decision made in this situation was not to buckle up. The driver was protected by the steering wheel. He was the passenger. This is the kind of collision where seat belts make a huge difference.

  11. FLORC says:

    We’ve probably all had accidents, yes. Maybe even by our own poor or rushed judgement. But, a life wad lost here. This isn’t to be brushed off. Consequences will be greater.
    She didn’t know this would happen, but the cost of this lesson is what it is for her and the victim’s family.

    That said… depending on states as some here have pointed out you can’t fill the crosswalk box. Maybe she didn’t know this? Maybe she was careless? Mayne she almost made it across, but something obstructed her path and she had to stop? Idk. It sounds like her action did lead to a death. And that isn’t to remove fault from the victims actions. She was just the 1st piece played on the board in that sense.

    • DangerMaus says:

      Venus is rich and famous and can afford the best lawyers. There will be a lot of research done on the character and driving habits of the victim. A legal case will be made that Venus isn’t at fault. She’ll get as much jail time as Caitlyn Jenner did after she killed that woman with her car. Maybe Venus will pay the victims family some sort of compensation in a civil case.

  12. Merritt says:

    It is a tragic situation but frankly a lot of people are forgetting that the other driver hit Venus not the other way around. The only reason Venus is being sued is because her car was in the wrong place. But IMO as a driver even when you have the right of way, you need to be aware at all times.

    • ls_boston says:


    • Patty says:

      Thank you! I live in a smallish city and even here I have found myself stuck in an intersection occasionally. Here’s a good and recent example, green light, traffic is flowing and at a good clip, I proceed through the intersection, right as am I about to clear it the car in front of me hits the breaks, and traffic just stops. As a result, the tail end of my car was stuck in the intersection for a little bit after my light technically turned red. Thankfully I live in a city where people are fairly considerate drivers so no one plowed into me. I then saw that there was a lane closure ahead so people were suddenly stopping because other cars were forcing their way (I hate people who wait until the last minute to merge by the way)

      I’ve also seen it happen in my city where people are turning left, and get stuck in the intersection because of a sudden accident a block up that causes traffic to suddenly stop. None of us are all knowing and we cannot predict every scenario. We go because we believe that we will clear it, no one intentionally plans to get stuck in an intersection.

      Not only that but green light or not we all have a certain amount of responsibility as drivers. If Venus was already in the intersection, oncoming traffic should have seen that and like it or not, they should have waited until she had moved. You just cannot ram into someone or T-bone someone because you have the right away, and I’m not really understanding how the driver of the other car missed the big ass Sequoia that was sitting in the road.

      As someone who had to wait for cars to clear an intersection, it’s annoying but it happens. It’s not the time to try and maneuver your way around like a character in a racing movie. Naturally, I feel sorry for the victim and his family, but I also feel empathy for Venus. It’s not an either-or proposition. (That being said, I really hope the widow does not get millions of dollars, I hate to be callous but I would imagine if this has been Venus Smith, she wouldn’t have been so quick to sue; and it does seem a bit opportunist)

      Interesting enough, I was just talking to a friend about the rage road incident in PA and for the life of me, I cannot figure out a) where people are always in a such a hurry to get to and b) why people are always so angry that they’ll shoot someone while driving. Why is road rage even a thing? What the frick is wrong with people.

      • Merritt says:

        Exactly. It is easy to say in the aftermath that Venus should not have entered the intersection. But reality in the moment is that traffic can unexpectedly stop. Also despite claims of other posters, there is no consensus on whether the light was green or red when Venus entered the intersection. Witnesses have not all agreed on that point.

      • Originaltessa says:

        Venus’s car was still moving while the other car had a green. At the very least Venus pulled into an intersection she couldn’t clear on yellow. She’s at fault. The accident that Tmz described had Venus’s car moving across the other car so they saw her exactly at the moment of impact or shortly before, not allowing them adequate time to stop.

      • jwoolman says:

        Yes, the widow is getting some very bad advice, very likely from an ambulance chaser whose eyes lit up when he or she realized Venus was involved. She has a lot of money. Probably the widow will have to pay the lawyer a percentage of anything she gets, so at least she won’t be wasting her own money.

        But it looks as though the lawsuit is claiming some things that don’t seem to be definitively true. Witnesses are often unreliable because it all happens so fast, making it a challenge to sort out unless they have surveillance video. This is another reason not to jump into a lawsuit too quickly.

        The widow must feel so devastated that she was the one driving, so emotionally she needs to convince herself that it was all Venus’s fault and there was nothing she could have done to prevent it. But no matter what the legal reasoning is of who is at fault – realistically it looks otherwise. Both of them could have done things differently. Besides the difference that just a little more braking time would have made if she saw the car in the intersection sooner (an extra second or two would have helped), her husband died of head trauma — suggesting that a seat belt would have saved his life by preventing him from continuing to move forward on impact.

    • DangerMaus says:

      According to the Florida Driver’s Handbook “Move forward only when the road is clear.” Legally you shouldn’t enter the intersection unless you can clear it. 99.9% of the time people don’t do that and nothing happens. When an accident occurs 100% of the fault for the accident needs to be assigned. If Venus broke a law (no matter how it looks from a common sense POV) then she will get the brunt of the blame.

      Insurance also works on this principle – Just because the car in front of you slams on it’s breaks for no reason doesn’t mean that you get off for rear ending them. Legally you need to follow at a distance that allows you to stop and avoid accidents.

      • Patty says:

        No one is disputing this. As I said, most people move forward when the road is clear, no one plans on getting stuck in an intersection. And sometimes it happens. On the same note, while green means go, it doesn’t make it wise to do so if you know that you don’t have a clear path. While Venus will get assigned the blame because she ended up on the intersection (unintentionally) on red, the other driver was not without fault either (legally she may not be). The other driver should not have entered the intersection either if it was not clear.

        While I’m sure Venus feels some sense of guilt because of what happened, I would imagine that the other driver does too. Regardless of who had the right away, or is deemed legally at fault, we are all responsible for making the best possible decisions and choices when driving. Even if that means not going on green!

      • Merritt says:

        You clearly missed my point. I’m well aware of the law. That doesn’t mean that I can’t comment on the other driver being reckless. The law may not find the other driver at fault, but it doesn’t change the reality that the other driver was the one who hit Venus.

      • DangerMaus says:

        Patty – that’s the point though. You can’t get stuck in an intersection if your path is clear. Venus must have entered while it wasn’t clear but that she had the assumption that it WOULD become clear. Legally that’s not really a defense. The other driver paid for not paying attention with their life. So it’s not like they get off scot-free. I don’t think that anyone could argue that she killed the other driver on purpose but motivation has little to do with how things ended up.

        Merritt – of course the other driver was reckless as they had a responsibility to drive in a way that would allow them to safely stop if there was an obstruction. I’m just pointing out how the law and insurance companies assign blame. It’s not like Venus was sitting in a parked car in her driveway, she was doing something technically against the rules of the road and contributed to this horrible situation.

    • jwoolman says:

      Yes, her car was moving so slowly (a few mph) that I figured the damage was done because the other car was moving significantly faster when the impact suddenly stopped it.

      Still I wonder about the extent of the injuries, unless the speeds were higher than I would have expected and braking time wasn’t sufficient. I wonder if the man wasn’t properly secured in a seat belt, although seat belts can’t help in every type of collision and maybe this was one of them. His age would also work against him.

      My aunt was more afraid of being trapped by a seat belt and didn’t want to wear one. I had to sit there and refuse to move the car until she put it on because I’m a physicist and know what happens to a person unattached to the vehicle when the car’s velocity suddenly goes down to zero… The person keeps on moving at the original speed of the car until he or she hits something solid like a windshield. Big change in momentum in a very short time period, people, not good for inelastic bodies.

      Seat belts today seem to tighten fairly automatically so it is harder to wear them too loosely. I don’t ride in cars very often and almost always need the driver to help me do it right. Also they are more effective because they don’t just hold at seat level any more, making your body more at one with the vehicle but still giving your body more time to lose momentum (more time is better, then forces exerted on your bones and organs etc. are less).

      • rrabbit says:

        The speed limit is 50 mph on one side of the intersection and 55 mph on the other side of the intersection. Presumably, Mrs. Barton was driving a bit more than 50 just like almost everybody else, slowed down a bit when she saw the red light ahead, and then accelerated again when her light turned green. At least that would explain the impact.

  13. Veronica says:

    What a shitty situation all around. The widow who has to watch her husband’s death turned into a story about Venus. Venus having to deal with the fact that somebody died as an indirect result of her actions. Not a good scene at all.

  14. SamfromTrinidad says:

    This is just heartbreaking. And it can happen to anyone. All of us who get on the road anyday, this can happen to. And most of us do not have a job that requires us to take questions from the media. At the end of her day, Wimbledon is her job – because she makes good money – perhaps she could take time off to deal with this, but if this was regular Jane, you’d have to go to work and deal with pain. It horrible for everyone one involved. No one ever wants to be the cause of someone going through the heartbreaking loss of a loved one. To sit here and have an opinion on what she should do is tough in my opinion. I am sure she wants to hide and curl up and be by herself. Who wants to be judged on something that they did not intend to do? She lives with this for the rest of her life. Just sad all around.

  15. Connell says:

    I would have pulled out if I could, but Venus probably couldn’t. She wasn’t hurt physically; sponsors and other people expect you to play. It was very unfair to her the press put her on the spot. I know Venus must have the country’s best attorneys, but are they talking with her, reassuring her, helping her get through this? Or are they just a-hole lawyers? Just asking. Worked for years in a law office. Not all of them are nice. By the way, Venus was also involved in an accident in 2013, while driving on a suspended or revoked license.

  16. perplexed says:

    I’m confused. Was she moving on the green light? Or was the other driver moving on a green light? If Venus was on the green light and got stuck in the intersection, wouldn’t the other car be on the red? If so, why was it moving if it was on the red?

    I don’t think anyone is putting Venus on the victim — I think most are imagining the kind of sorrow they would feel, like she seems to feel in the clip, if they accidentally killed someone. I don’t want to think about the guilt I would feel. You have to live with that guilt for the rest of your life. I wouldn’t be surprised if she has to go into therapy — I know I would. This is clearly one of those situations where you want to go back in time and fix it, but you can’t. I get the impression that sober people who accidentally kill someone like this through an unintentional split second mistake tend to feel more guilt than drunk drivers.

    • Bridget says:

      It sounds like Venus moved forward and then got stuck in the intersection when her lane turned red. The light changed, and then the other car came forward and hit her, resulting in the fatality.

      Here’s what I don’t understand – did the car come from a dead stop at the light, or were they driving and just didn’t see that the intersection was blocked? How were they traveling so fast as to have a fatality as the result?

      • Patty says:

        It’s possible that this could have happened because I’ve seen it before.

        You are driving along at a decent pace but start to slow down because the light ahead is red. However, you may notice the turn arrow is turning yellow or you may even notice that the cross traffic light has turned red. If there is no one in front of you, you start to pick up speed in anticipation because your light is about to turn green and you just go, not taking into consideration the possibility that someone may run a red light while rushing to get through the yellow light; or that someone who was proceeding suddenly slams on their breaks, etc.

        Happens all of the time. In my opinion, as I mentioned before, traffic laws aside we all have a responsibility to be alert, aware, and make good choices when driving. That means, you sometimes need to stop and yield even if you have the right away.

      • Bridget says:

        If Venus had fully ran the red light though, wouldn’t she have at least gotten a ticket? It sounds like she was fully stopped in the intersection (which yes I know is still a traffic infraction and why she was found to be at fault, though no ticket).

      • Magnoliarose says:

        It is strange. Venus was going 5 miles an hour the report said and she was stuck in the intersection. What I don’t get is how fast was the other car going to cause a death? Was he in bad health and it was too much for his body? I am confused.

      • jwoolman says:

        Magnoliarose – if the accident report is correct that the people in the other car (the driver was the wife of the passenger who died) were not wearing seat belts, that explains why he died. He died of head trauma, which means he kept going forward when the car stopped suddenly on impact. He really should have survived an impact like that at those speeds, although their car may have been going relatively fast if their light had turned green by the time they reached the blocked intersection and she didn’t start to brake in enough time. But his odds of surviving without a seat belt were much much less. His wife very likely was protected from going through the windshield herself by the steering wheel and the fact that she was holding on to it.

      • Luna says:

        It is unusual with an older couple (even older than my hub and me) for the wife to be driving (even after racking up tickets, tho not enuff to void her license). ICYMI, just sayin’.

  17. Skylark says:

    Poor Venus. That was so horrible to watch. The shitty levels some elements of the media are prepared to descend to in order to make their mark and keep themselves relevant are seriously depressing.

    Hope that arsehole ‘reporter’ feels proud of himself for his ‘scoop’.

  18. PennyLane says:

    Feeling sorry for this poor woman who just lost her husband of 33 years (he was also her business partner, so she is devastated by this loss on a number of levels). Her grief must be overwhelming. However the language in the lawsuit said that Venus Williams ‘blew through a red light’ which there is no proof of. There is however a documented history of speeding on the part of the driver of the other vehicle:

    “Linda Barson has a history of driving offenses in Palm Beach County, court records show. She was cited three times for speeding between 2004 and 2013 and paid fines as a result.”

    The accident report also stated that Venus Williams was wearing a seatbelt, but that the Barsons were not wearing seatbelts.

    • jwoolman says:

      If the people in the other car weren’t wearing seat belts, that explains his injuries especially if he was the passenger. A modern seat belt would likely have saved his life. But he was 78. I’m ten years younger and we didn’t grow up with seat belts. The first ones came into common use when I was full grown.

      I thought insurance companies are rather adamant today about seat belt use being mandatory to make a claim at least partially? So much so that people are advised to put on their seat belts before help arrives if possible, but to take off the seat belt for a passenger who is unconscious… I strongly suspect that’s the advice Hulk Hogan’s son was using in the accident that seriously injured his friend. There was evidence that the friend had indeed been wearing a seat belt but it was off when emergency personnel arrived.

      If it can be verified that seat belts were not used by the passenger, it would seem to be difficult to sue. Venus may still want to help them with expenses, but they would probably lose a court case.

      • The Original Mia says:

        If those are the facts of the case, Venus’ insurance company is going to fight tooth & nail to pay out anything close to what the deceased’s family is asking for. The family may get something, but the facts are there are mitigating circumstances and Venus wasn’t cited.

        Venus shouldn’t have been asked about the case as it is pending litigation. She’s probably devastated. She’s not heartless, but she also has a job & playing in Wimbledon is part of her professional duties.

      • SharkBait says:

        I’m wondering how seat belts would factor in the case as well. My mom is 67, but she is militant about seat belts because a relative of hers was injured in the 60s when they flew through the windshield. The person had a TBI. So once cars got seat belts, she was adamant about us putting them on. I also wonder about speeding being a factor. If Venus was blocking the intersection, she was at fault (you are not supposed to block it, we have signs in Philly telling us not to).

      • spidey says:

        @ The Original Mia – totally agree regarding the interview – it should have been made clear beforehand that questions re the accident were off-limits, for legal reasons if nothing else. Also, there is a clue in the title “post-match interview”. They should stick to questions about the match.

    • LadyT says:

      1. Don’t enter an intersection that is blocked, even with a green light.
      2. Don’t drive 40mph into the side of a car, even with a green light.
      3. Wear your seatbelt.

  19. Summer says:

    I will never forget the sorrow I felt when I accidentally hit a dog with my car and killed it. I can only imagine what she must be feeling. It was accident, she didn’t purposely try to hurt anyone. I feel so much for the family of the man killed as well. Just sad all around.

  20. Neo says:

    I don’t know why I feel sympathy for Venus but none for Caitlyn but in both cases, while it’s feasible the celebrities were at fault, it doesn’t make them horrendous people, just self centered and entitled. If they look at themselves honestly and become more cautious and caring after, then they are capable of redemption. I’m sure if either of them could take back their mistakes, they would. It’s also possible that either or both of them really weren’t at fault. But even if they were, mistakes happen. I’ve been in the passenger seat with both my boyfriend and my father when they ran a red by accident. In my 35 years sitting in that seat with my Dad, he’s only done it once and he was appalled and upset with himself after. He’s the best driver I know. We’re human. We make mistakes.

    • Bridget says:

      Venus made an error that many of us have made, and was struck by another car that was driving fast and its passenger wasn’t wearing a seatbelt – in other circumstances, this should not have been fatal. She wasn’t driving recklessly, just made a bad choice. Caitlin was following too closely and driving too fast to avoid the crash (folks have mentioned that because she was smoking she couldn’t shift in time). Not to mention, showed very little remorse afterward.

    • Bridget says:

      Venus made an error that many of us have made, and was struck by another car that was driving fast and its passenger wasn’t wearing a seatbelt – in other circumstances, this should not have been fatal. She wasn’t driving recklessly, just made a bad choice. Caitlin was following too closely and driving too fast to avoid the crash (folks have mentioned that because she was smoking she couldn’t shift in time). Not to mention, showed very little remorse afterward.

  21. Ol' Miss says:

    From the diagram the police provided, Venus was going through a large intersection and had to cross EIGHT lanes of traffic, and the width of a meridian! There is no way that you can predict that you might not make it through the green light when you enter the intersection if there is any traffic to speak of. Any of us would enter the intersection, expecting the traffic to keep flowing through. For Venus that day, it didn’t. And she was stranded, and forced to clear the intersection late. The other driver pulled into the intersection before the intersection was clear, possibly because a car beside her blocked her view to her left. Venus was traveling 5mph, not racing through. I’m sorry my friends but this was an accident, a very unfortunate one, with the saddest of endings. Condolences to the family who lost a loved one in an accident. My heart also goes out to Venus because I know that good people like her wish they could go back and do things differently, and she has to live with that.

  22. Patty says:

    Police released a video and a statement. Venus entered the intersection on a green but had to stop suddenly to avoid a collision with a car that made an illegal turn in front of her, that hindered / slowed down her ability to clear the interaction before her light turned red. And then before she could clear the intersection she got hit.

    It really sounds as though Venus didn’t do anything wrong. As many of us have said, there’s no way she would have known that a car would turn out in front of her forcing her to stop suddenly and it clear the intersection in time. Something’s are out of our control, such as the behavior of other drivers.–abc-news-celebrities.html