UPDATED, 12:39 PM: Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva told media today that criminal charges are not expected in the car crash Tuesday in Los Angeles that seriously injured golfer Tiger Woods.
“We don’t contemplate any charges whatsoever in this crash,” Villanueva said Wednesday, saying it was “purely an accident,” adding that “accidents are not a crime.”
Woods’ crashed his SUV in a single-car accident yesterday morning on Hawthorne Boulevard in Rancho Palos Verdes. He was taken to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance and underwent surgery on two “comminuted open fractures affecting both the upper and lower portions of the tibia and fibula” and a broken ankle, according to a post on Woods’ Twitter feed last night.
Tiger Woods Undergoes Surgery After Suffering 'Multiple Leg Injuries' In Los Angeles Car Crash
Woods was “awake, responsive, and recovering in his hospital room,” according to the post.
PREVIOUSLY, February 23, 3:38 PM: “Deputies at the time did not see any evidence of impairment,” Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said at a press conference about Tiger Woods’ car crash Tuesday. “He was alive and he was conscious, and that’s the extent of that,” he added.
“What we’re (sic) at is signs of under the influence of either narcotics, medication, alcohol, order of alcohol — all these different things that would give you an idea in their behavior, but there was none present,” Villanueva went on to say, noting that a follow-up probe would make any final determination. The subsequent investigation also will examine whether the accident might have been due to “distracted driving” like texting, he said.
“It was brought to my attention that he had serious leg injuries and that was assessed at the incident,” LA County Fire Department chief Daryl Osby said of Woods’ condition at the crash scene. “There were no other life-endangering injuries to my knowledge.”
The seat-belted Woods was “lucid and calm” but “not able to stand under his own power,” LASD Deputy Carlos Gonzalez, who was first on the scene, said today.
The SUV Woods was driving was headed northbound and downhill on Hawthorne Boulevard in Rancho Palos Verdes when crossed the median into the incoming lane. With Woods the only person in the vehicle, it then smashed through signs, sheared a tree, hit the curb, rolled and crashed off the side of the residential street just before 7:12 AM Tuesday.
Suffering from multiple injuries in both legs, the barrier-breaking golf legend was transported to the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center around 7:30 AM Tuesday because the facility is a trauma center. Not long after the LACFD pulled the moderately chatty and conscious Woods out of the shattered vehicle, he was on the operating table and undergoing surgery, his agent Michael Steinberg confirmed in a statement. Contrary to initials reports from the Fire Department, the “jaws of life” were not used to free the trapped Woods from of the SUV, Osby clarified this afternoon.
This is not the first time Woods has been involved in more than a fender-bender.
In 2009, he crashed his car into a fire hydrant near his Florida home. The incident proved to be the opening round in long unveiling of his personal affairs that displayed a very different side to the supposedly clean-cut sportsman. In 2017, police found the golfer asleep in his parked car, and he was arrested for DUI after failing a field sobriety test. After that crash, it was reported that Woods had a plethora of painkillers in his system, some of which had been prescribed due to a back surgery that same year.
Complicating matters for 45-year-old Woods this time is the fact that he had back surgery again in January. The procedure, his fifth on the area, was to take out part of a pressurized disc that was on a nerve. He hasn’t competed on the PGA Tour since the Covid-delayed Masters in November.
Various LASD deputies remained on the scene in the pricey and resort-filled coastal town to investigate the wreck, as did members of the County Fire department. Manufactured by Genesis, Hyundai’s luxury division, the 2021 courtesy car was removed from the crash site in the past hour on the back of a flatbed truck.
The Lomita station of the LASD will “be conducting the traffic investigation and it’ll take then from days to several weeks to get the whole thing together,” Villanueva said at today’s presser. The sheriff noted that the area has a high frequency of accidents in part because of the curved hill. In fact, another accident occurred this morning right there as passing drivers became distracted looking at Woods’ crash site, Villanueva revealed.
The relatively concise press conference was carried on all local networks, as well as CNN, MSNBC and Fox News. The news of Woods’ accident has pretty much dominated cable news, even with major political events in DC Tuesday.
Seen playing golf with NBA legend Dwyane Wade and others Monday at the Rolling Hills Country Club, Woods was out in L.A. to host the Genesis Invitational, a PGA Tour event, and to film a series of videos for Golf Digest and Discovery.
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