Woods, 45, was conscious and alert when emergency services removed him from his vehicle, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said.
Traffic investigators could take days or weeks to determine the cause of the accident while investigating whether speed, fatigue or operator error were factors, or whether Woods hit something on the road, causing him to lose control, the said. Lieutenant Michael White with the Los Angeles County Sheriff. Office told CNN affiliate KCAL / KCBS.
Woods was driving shortly after 7 a.m. PT in Rancho Palos Verdes when the truck he was using crossed a median and crossed two lanes of the highway before hitting a sidewalk, hitting a tree, and landing sideways off the highway on the undergrowth. There were no other vehicles involved.
Woods needed to be pulled from his vehicle by a rescue team with a crowbar and ax, according to Los Angeles County Fire Marshal Daryl Osby.
Woods was driving down a winding road in an area known as a trouble spot for speeding and accidents, Villanueva and Deputy Sheriff Carlos Gonzalez said.
Weather was not a factor in the accident, authorities said at a news conference Tuesday. There was no evidence of deterioration, but the accident is under investigation, authorities said.
When asked at the press conference if Woods may have been on the phone at the time, Villanueva said investigators will have to determine whether distracted driving played a role.
What is the state of your injuries?
Woods was transported by ambulance to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in serious condition and with non-life-threatening injuries, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
Woods suffered compound fractures to his legs, a source told CNN. Osby said Woods’ legs were splinted at the scene.
A compound fracture “is an open fracture, and the bone actually sticks out of the skin, something that would have been noticed at the time of injury and … something that obviously needs to be treated very quickly,” CNN’s medical correspondent said, Dr. Sanjay Gupta said.
“He was able to communicate and was conscious,” Villanueva said.
Gonzalez, the first responder at the scene, said he kept Woods talking until firefighters arrived.
Woods had to undergo surgery after the accident, according to Golf Digest, which cited a statement from Woods’ agent, Mark Steinberg.
What kind of car was Woods driving?
Woods was driving a 2021 Genesis SUV. The front of the vehicle was destroyed and the air bags deployed, Villanueva said. Woods was wearing a seat belt, Gonzalez said.
“Fortunately, the interior was more or less intact, which gave him the cushion to survive what would have otherwise been a fatal accident,” Villanueva said.
The sponsor of the golf tournament he hosted over the weekend provided the Genesis to Woods as a courtesy car.
Woods did not play due to recent back surgery.
Mark Del Rosso, president and CEO of Genesis Motor North America, said Tuesday he was “heartbroken” to learn of the accident.