Palm Beach Gardens police say Williams, 37, was at-fault in the crash at the intersection of Northlake Boulevard and BallenIsles Drive on the afternoon of June 9. Williams told police she was leaving the Steeplechase community and crossing Northlake to go to BallenIsles, where she has a home, when traffic forced her to stop and block a lane.
Linda Barson, then 67, was driving west on Northlake Boulevard and told police she proceeded through a green light. She said Williams cut in front of her, and she was unable to avoid crashing into Williams’ 2010 Toyota Sequoia, according to the crash report.
Barson’s husband Jerome suffered head injuries and was rushed to St. Mary’s Medical Center, where he died on June 22.
Williams, who was uninjured, and the Barsons were all wearing seat belts, according to police. The news of the crash emerged on the gossip website TMZ last week.
This is Williams’ 20th Wimbledon. Her next match is Wednesday against Wang Qiang.
The downpour that drenched northern Palm Beach County for most of Wednesday afternoon and evening had almost no effect on the first official day of play at the Honda Classic Thursday.
The parking lots were in good shape and so was the golf course, spectators and tournament officials said during a breezy, sun-drenched day at PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens. The temperature as of 1:30 Thursday was a balmy 76 degrees.
Malcom Engstrom and Sandi Washburn said the preferred parking area was fine, although it looked like there were a few spots being filled in.
“We were in the preferred parking. We waited maybe five or 10 minutes, and boom, we were here,” Engstrom said. “So far, it’s great. The course looks like it’s in fantastic condition.”
Washburn noted some of the “big shots” weren’t playing in the tournament this year. Tiger Woods committed to playing and then decided not to after suffering back spasms at Dubai. Rory McIlroy is also missing the event because of injuries.
She said she was unimpressed with the cleanliness of the portable toilets early in the day. Another spectator noted the restrooms in trailers right inside the tournament entrance. They have an attendant and running water.
Several people said Thursday is the best day to come because of the smaller crowds and calmer atmosphere. Marc Southworth, of the Acreage, said he and his friend had valet parking through Tito’s Vodka, which made parking a cinch.
He surmised the dry weather helped the course weather the storm.
“The drainage here is very good. Of course, we haven’t had rain in so long that it sucked it up quick,” he said.
Much of Palm Beach County is still considered in a “moderate drought,” according to a report released Thursday. There are 920,126 residents living in areas with moderate drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.
Gina Sauber, a Hollywood resident attending the tournament for the first time, said she found parking at BallenIsles “very convenient.”
“The bus was waiting when we parked the car,” she said.
Libby Anderson, a Portland, Ore. resident who attends college in Canada, picked the perfect time to visit her grandmother. Other than a brush with fire ants in the general parking lot, she was enjoying her first Honda Classic.
“The food is good, slightly overpriced, but that’s to be expected,” Anderson said. “Everything’s pretty well-marked, easy-to-find, which is nice.”