Venus Williams 'heartbroken' by crash

Venus Williams blamed for crash
The player has broken her silence about the fatal accident she was involved in. Photo credit: Getty

Tennis star Venus Williams has broken her silence about the fatal accident she was involved in, three weeks after the incident.

The world's former top-ranked female tennis player said on Facebook that she was heartbroken by the death of a man in a two-car crash in Florida that a police report blamed on her driving.

Posting the message on Saturday (NZ time), the day after police released a preliminary report saying she was the driver at fault, she wrote that she was "[devastated] and heartbroken by this accident".

"My heartfelt condolences go out to the family and friends of Jerome Barson and I continue to keep them in my thoughts and prayers."

The accident on June 9 left Jerome Barson, a 78-year-old passenger in the other car, with fatal injuries.

The police report stated the accident occurred in Palm Beach Gardens, and the victim was a passenger in a car that was driven by his wife, Linda Barson.

CNN has reported that the victim's family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Ms Williams, citing negligence.

The lawsuit stated that Mr Barson's injuries included "severed main arteries, massive internal bleeding, a fractured spine, and massive internal organ damage."

He was in intensive care when he died on June 22, which, the lawsuit says, was also his wife's 68th birthday.

According to the police report, Ms Barson told police she had approached an intersection, slowing for a traffic light. According to the report, the light changed to green, and Ms Barson said she drove through the intersection when Williams' vehicle cut across in front of her car.

Linda Barson said she was unable to avoid crashing into Williams.

Ms Williams, according to the report, told police she was stopped in the median of the intersection because of other traffic. Ms Williams also said she did not see the Barsons' car when she crossed the intersection. The report says Williams was driving an estimated speed of 8km/h.