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Venus Williams involved in fatal car crash

Tennis star involved in car crash.

Venus Williams involved in fatal car crash

US police say tennis star Venus Williams was involved in a car crash in Florida earlier this month that has led to the death of a 79-year-old passenger who was travelling in another vehicle.

Palm Beach Gardens police on Thursday say witnesses have told investigators that Williams ran a red light in her 2010 Toyota Sequoia SUV, causing the June 9 crash that injured 78-year-old Jerome Barson, who died two weeks later.

The report says a Hyundai Accent driven by Barson's wife, Linda, crashed into the side of Williams' vehicle. Linda Barson told investigators that she was approaching the intersection when her light turned green and that she was unable to stop in time. Linda Barson suffered unspecified moderate injuries. Williams, who turned 37 on June 17, was not hurt.

Williams told police she had entered the six-lane intersection on a green light but had been forced to stop midpoint by traffic ahead of her. She said she did not see the Barsons' car when she crossed into their lanes.

Palm Beach Gardens Major Paul Rogers says the crash remains under investigation.

Williams, who has a residence in Palm Beach Gardens, has not been cited or charged. The report says she was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

The crash was first reported by TMZ.

Williams' lawyer Malcolm Cunningham said in a statement that Williams expressed "her deepest condolences to the family who lost a loved one."

Michael Steinger, who is representing Linda Barson, had no immediate comment.

Venus Williams, the older sister of tennis star Serena Williams, has won seven Grand Slam titles, including five at her favourite tournament, Wimbledon.

She revealed in 2011 that she'd been diagnosed with Sjogren's syndrome, an autoimmune disease.

Her ranking fell outside the top 100 as she coped with her illness and injuries, and from 2011 to 2014, she only advanced past the third round at a major once.

Early round losses continued to mount for Williams and questions about retirement came up time and again. Those questions are still asked, but she had a career renaissance, and in January reached the finals of the Australian Open, where she lost to her sister.

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