‘9-1-1’: Why Vanessa Estelle Williams Is Leaving the Show

by Taylor Cunningham

Vanessa Estelle Williams left 9-1-1 after her character fell victim to a tragic accident last night. Why she exited the TV show isn’t exactly clear. But judging by the timing of her casting, it seems that she never meant to stay in the story long.

During the May 2nd episode titled May Day, Williams’ Claudette Collins met an emotional end after finally working things out with May Grant. And with that shocking twist, Williams ended her seven-month run with the show.

Many fans were surprised by the sudden exit. Though Claudette didn’t spend a lot of time on screen, she seemed to have earned a long-standing place in the dispatch center. In fact, when the fire broke out, most people thought it was Bobby Nash who would go.

However, it isn’t big news that the writers decided to write Vanessa Estelle Williams out of 9-1-1. When she joined the cast in October, she only did as a recurring character. And she walked into the story as Maddie took a hiatus so her actress, Jennifer Love Hewitt, could go on maternity leave.

It was evident from the start that Williams was filling a void while Hewitt was gone. And because Maddie returned in April, it makes sense that Williams left shortly after.

What Happened to Vanessa Estelle Williams’ ‘9-1-1’ Character

But while Vanessa Estelle Williams is no longer a part of 9-1-1, her memory will remain in the story for episodes to come.

During her last appearance, Claudette Collins and May Grant’s supervisors sent them to a “quiet room” to finally work out their ongoing issues. And the two did mend their ways. But unfortunately, it happened just as the dispatch center burst into flames.

While in a rush to get out, everyone inside didn’t think to warn May and Claudette. So by the time the two were aware of the danger, the path to safety was already engulfed in fire.

May managed to get herself and Claudette out of the building alive. But shortly after, Claudette died when her blood “pressure bottomed out” in the ambulance. But though she’s gone. It seems that some of the characters will spend time dealing with the circumstances surrounding her death.

According to Bobby Nash’s Peter Krause, her exit is setting up a major storyline for episodes to come. May will be affected by losing Claudette. And she’ll have to overcome the trauma of the situation.

“May and Claudette had just worked through their differences. and it was just stripped away in a blink of an eye,” he told Entertainment Weekly. “To see Claudette die after May tried so hard to save both of them is really going to her hit hard.”