Venus Williams Breaks Down in Tears Over Fatal Car Crash

Venus Williams

Venus Williams broke down and left her news conference after a first-round victory at Wimbledon when asked the fatal automobile accident she was involved in last month.

The 37-year-old Williams comfortably beat Belgian No. 1 Elise Mertens on Court but was lost for words when asked about the crash.

“There are really no words to describe, like, how devastating and – yeah. I’m completely speechless. It’s just – yeah, I mean, I’m just …” a visibly shaken Williams said, her voice trailing off.

Venus Williams then broke down in tears, stepping out into the hallway to gather herself with members of her team.

Williams was driving through an intersection in her Toyota S.U.V. in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., during the afternoon of June 9, when she collided with a car being driven by Linda Barson, according to a police report. Barson’s husband, Jerome, 78, was a passenger in the car, and he died on June 22 from injuries he sustained in the crash.

A daughter of the victim has since filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against Williams. On Monday, a Wimbledon official, sitting next to Williams to facilitate the news conference, said Williams would be unable to answer questions about the accident.