Woods was driving almost 90 mph when he crashed SUV near LA

Tiger Woods, shown, was driving nearly 90 mph — twice the posted speed limit — on a downhill stretch of road when he lost control of an SUV outside Los Angeles and crashed in a wreck that left the golf superstar seriously injured, authorities said Wednesday.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Tiger Woods was driving nearly 90 mph — twice the posted speed limit — on a downhill stretch of road when he lost control of an SUV and crashed in a wreck that seriously injured the golf superstar, authorities said Wednesday.

Sheriff Alex Villanueva blamed the Feb. 23 crash outside Los Angeles solely on excessive speed and Woods’ loss of control behind the wheel. The athlete will not face any citations.

“The primary causal factor for this traffic collision was driving at a speed unsafe for the road conditions and the inability to negotiate the curve of the roadway,” the sheriff told a news conference.

Woods was driving 84 to 87 mph in an area with a speed limit of 45 mph, Villanueva said.

The stretch of road is known for wrecks and drivers who frequently hit high speeds. Due to the steepness of the terrain, a runaway truck escape lane is available just beyond where Woods crashed.

There was no evidence that the golfer tried to brake, and investigators believe Woods may have inadvertently stepped on the accelerator instead of the brake pedal in a panic, said sheriff’s Capt. James Powers, who oversees the sheriff’s station closest to the crash site.

Woods was wearing a seat belt at the time, and the vehicle’s airbags deployed. He told deputies that he had not taken medication or consumed alcohol before the crash, Powers said.

“Those questions were asked and answered,” he said.

Documents show that Woods told deputies he did not know how the crash occurred and did not remember driving. Detectives did not seek search warrants for blood samples, which could have been screened for drugs or alcohol, or his cellphone. Authorities said there was no evidence of impairment or of distracted driving, so they did not have probable cause to get warrants. Investigators did search the SUV’s data recorder, known as a black box, which revealed the vehicle’s speed.

On Twitter, Woods thanked the people who called 911, as well as the first responders who pulled him out of the wreck and transported him to the hospital.

“I will continue to focus on my recovery and family, and thank everyone for the overwhelming support and encouragement I’ve received throughout this very difficult time,” Woods wrote in a statement.

Woods, who is originally from the Los Angeles area, had been back home to host his PGA tournament, the Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club, when the crash happened. He was driving an SUV loaned to him by the tournament when he struck a raised median in Rolling Hills Estates, just outside LA. The SUV crossed through two oncoming lanes and uprooted a tree, striking it at 75 mph.

Woods, 45, is in Florida recovering from multiple surgeries, including a lengthy procedure for shattered tibia and fibula bones in his lower right leg in multiple locations. Those were stabilized with a rod in his tibia. Additional injuries to the bones in his foot and ankle required screws and pins. At the time of the wreck, Woods was recovering from a fifth back surgery.

Rory McIlroy, a four-time major golf champion who lives near Woods in Florida, said he visited Woods on March 21.

“Spent a couple hours with him, which was nice. It was good to see him,” McIlroy said Tuesday from the Masters. “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.”

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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