ROLLING HILLS ESTATES, California (AP) – A man found Tiger Woods unconscious in a wrecked SUV after the golf star crashed the vehicle in Southern California, authorities said in court documents obtained Friday.
The man, who lives near the site in Rolling Hills Estates, heard the accident and walked toward the truck, Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriff Johann Schloegl wrote in an affidavit.
The man told agents that Woods would not answer their questions. The first deputy on the scene, Carlos González, said Woods was able to speak with him and answer basic questions. Woods told officers, both at the scene and at the hospital, that he did not know how the accident occurred and that he did not recall driving, according to the affidavit.
Law enforcement had not previously disclosed that Woods had been unconscious after the accident. Authorities had previously said the truck had overturned, although Schloegl’s description of the accident did not include that.
The information came in a probable cause statement requesting that a search warrant be approved for the Genesis SUV’s data recorder, known as a black box. Schloegl requested data from February 22 and 23. The accident occurred around 7 a.m. on February 23.
“I think the data will explain how / why the collision happened,” Schloegl wrote.
Representatives for the sheriff have declined to say what was discovered on the tape recorder and did not immediately respond to an additional request for comment Friday. The man named in the court documents did not immediately respond to requests for comment from The Associated Press.
Woods was driving a 2021 GV80, made by luxury brand Hyundai, as host of the Genesis Invitational tournament at Riviera Country Club. The truck veered off a Los Angeles County highway and crashed on a downhill stretch known for accidents.
Dr. Andre Campbell, a trauma surgeon at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center, said it’s not unusual for patients in major car accidents to lose consciousness or experience memory lapses, especially if they sustained head injuries.
“This is a credit to modern engineering, actually, that it is alive,” said Campbell, who is not involved in Woods’ treatment and spoke generally about trauma patients.
Campbell said the loss of consciousness could last only a few seconds or a couple of minutes, or even a few hours. The memory loss may never return, he said.
“A lot of times people will tell you, ‘I don’t remember what happened,’” he said.
Sheriff Alex Villanueva has said that Woods was driving only in good weather, that there was no evidence of impairment and that the accident was “purely an accident.”
Schloegl previously told USA Today that he did not seek a search warrant for Woods’ blood samples, which could be tested for drugs and alcohol. In 2017, Woods checked into a clinic for help dealing with prescription drugs after a DUI charge in Florida.
The crash injured Woods’ right leg, requiring lengthy surgery to stabilize the broken tibia and fibula bones in his right leg. A combination of screws and pins was used for the ankle and foot injuries.
It was the 10th surgery of his career and came two months after a fifth back surgery. Regardless, Woods has never gone a full year without playing, dating back to his first PGA Tour event when he was 16 in high school.