Tiger Woods driving at 87mph in 45mph zone at time of car crash
Tiger Woods was driving at speeds up to 87mph (140km/h) in a 45mph zone when he was involved in a serious car crash earlier this year, Los Angeles police revealed during a press conference on Wednesday.
Los Angeles county sheriff Alex Villanueva said the speed was “unsafe for the road conditions” and Woods did not brake in the run-up to the collision, perhaps because he pressed the accelerator instead of the brake pedal in a state of panic. Villanueva said Woods will not receive a citation over the crash and blamed the incident of Woods’s excessive speed and loss of control of the vehicle.
The golfer sustained severe leg injuries in the single vehicle accident, which occurred in February when he drove over the median, into the opposite lane, struck a tree and rolled the vehicle several times. Police said Woods’s car was traveling at 75mph when it hit the tree. The stretch of road in Los Angeles county is known for crashes and police said Woods was “very fortunate” to be alive.
The 15-time major champion was left with multiple fractures of his leg and ankle after the crash and there are serious doubts whether one of the world’s most successful and famous athletes will ever play professional golf again.
The Los Angeles county sheriff’s department said last month that it had determined the cause of the accident but would not release details of the crash, citing privacy concerns. Wednesday’s release of details were made after Woods gave permission, Villanueva said.
The sheriff’s department has previously said that drugs and alcohol were not factors in the crash and Woods appeared to be sober when officers arrived on the scene. On Wednesday, Villanueva said a search warrant could only have been obtained for Woods’s blood samples if the golfer had appeared to be in a state of impairment. He also denied Woods had received preferential treatment due to his fame and said there was no evidence Woods was using his phone at the time of the crash.
Sheriff’s captain James Powers, who oversees the sheriff’s station closest to the crash site, said Woods told deputies that he had not taken medication or consumed alcohol before the crash.
“Those questions were asked and answered,” Powers said.
In May 2017, Woods was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence in Florida after he was discovered passed out in his car. He later pleaded guilty to reckless driving over the incident and said his condition was caused by prescribed medications.
However, sheriff’s deputy John Schloegl said last month that first responders reported Woods was alert after the crash. “We can’t just assume that somebody’s history makes them guilty,” Schloegl said.
The sheriff’s department did, however, look at the car’s “black box” to yield data such as speed and braking activity in the run-up to the crash.
Woods was involved in another crash in 2009 near his home in Florida, which led to news that he had been unfaithful to his then-wife, Elin Nordegren. The fallout led to Woods losing sponsors and he took an extended break from golf to address problems in his private life.
Woods’s injuries mean he will miss this week’s Masters where, in 2019, he achieved perhaps the greatest triumph of his career. There a rejuvenated Woods won his first major championship since 2008 at a time when many believed he was a spent force.
On Tuesday, Woods’s friend Rory McIlroy said he had visited his fellow major champion at home and he appeared to be recovering well.
“I spent a couple hours with him, which was nice,” McIlroy said. “It was good to see him. It was good to see him in decent spirits. When you hear of these things and you look at the car and you see the crash, you think he’s going to be in a hospital bed for six months. But he was actually doing better than that. A few of us that live down in south Florida went to see him. I’m sure he appreciates that. Everyone would love to see him back out here again.
“I know he’d love to be here and I’m sure he’s going to put everything he has into trying to be ready to play here next year.”
Leading the final round from start to finish, Hideki Matsuyama of Japan won the 85th Masters on Sunday to become the tournament’s first Asian-born champion and the first Japanese man to win a major golf championship. Matsuyama began the fourth round with a four-stroke advantage and shot a one-over-par 73 on Sunday to finish the tournament at 10 under par, one stroke ahead of the runner-up, Will Zalatoris, a 24-year-old making his Masters debut.
The Los Angeles county sheriff says detectives have determined what caused Tiger Woods to crash his SUV last month in Southern California but would not release details Wednesday, citing unspecified privacy concerns for the golf star. Woods suffered serious injuries in the Feb. 23 crash when he struck a raised median around 7am in Rolling Hills Estates, just outside Los Angeles. The Genesis SUV he was driving crossed through two oncoming lanes and uprooted a tree on a downhill stretch that police said is known for wrecks. Woods is in Florida recovering from multiple surgeries.
Tiger Woods has had surgery for multiple fractures of his right leg after a car accident that a Los Angeles police officer said he was “very fortunate” to have survived. The golfer was “awake and responsive” after the operation to insert a rod into his tibia and stabilize his ankle with pins, according to a statement by his TGR foundation on Tuesday night.
Summoning the spirit of Ben Hogan might not be enough for Tiger Woods to prolong a remarkable career. That the golf world is not prepared for Woods to call time on tournament pursuits was clear in the aftermath of the road accident which left the stricken 45-year-old requiring prolonged surgery on his right leg. Golf wants to cling on to an individual who transcends the sport and has single-handedly hauled it into a different commercial stratosphere. The post-Woods age has lingered somewhere in the distance for some time, with nobody really willing to address what it may entail.