Tiger Woods was rushed to a hospital with serious leg injuries Tuesday morning in Los Angeles County after being involved in a car accident in a mountainous area known for car accidents.
This is what we know so far:
At approximately 7 a.m. Pacific time on Tuesday, police received a 911 call about an accident on Hawthorne Boulevard near Rancho Palos Verdes, a coastal city of about 42,000 people in Los Angeles County.
Officers arrived at the scene six minutes later and found Tiger Woods trapped in a truck that had overturned, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said.
Deputy Carlos Gonzalez, the first officer on the scene, said he had determined that firefighters should remove Woods from the vehicle and that he had spoken with Woods while they waited.
Emergency workers used an ax and a Halligan tool, a type of pry bar, to pry the car’s windshield off the car and pull Woods out, said Los Angeles County Fire Department Chief Daryl L. Osby. Woods was put on a board and taken by ambulance to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, the closest trauma center, Rep. Gonzalez said. Woods underwent emergency surgery, according to his longtime agent, Mark Steinberg.
What was Woods’ condition?
Woods was conscious when the first officer arrived on the scene and answered various questions, including his name, where he was and the time of day. Congressman González said Woods seemed “lucid and calm.”
Chief Osby said Woods was stable but had “serious injuries” to both legs. The boss gave no further explanation. He said he wasn’t sure what other injuries Woods might have sustained, but that any additional injuries would not “be life threatening.”
According to Sheriff Villanueva, Woods’ manager did not want any further information about his condition or any updates on his surgery to be released.
What caused the accident? Was Woods speeding up?
Traffic investigators will take days or weeks to complete their investigation into the cause of the accident.
Woods was driving down a curvy road. The speed limit is 45 miles per hour, but Congressman González said he had seen vehicles over 80 miles per hour at times. Sheriff Villanueva said it appeared that Woods had been driving “faster than normal.”
The vehicle Woods was driving struck the median strip, Sheriff Villanueva said, ran over and then traveled several hundred feet, rolled several times and came to a stop in brush on the opposite side of the road. There were no skid marks, indicating that Woods had not attempted to brake, the sheriff said, and that his first contact had been with the center median before crossing into the opposite lane of traffic.
According to Sheriff Villanueva, there was no evidence of impairment, such as bottles of alcohol or pills, the smell of alcohol, or unusual behavior from Woods. Because Woods did not appear affected, the sheriff said, “there was no effort to draw blood, for example, at the hospital.”
There was no evidence that Woods was being followed by other vehicles, and it is unknown if he could have been staring at his phone or distracted in some other way at the time of the accident, the sheriff said.
Weather, such as a wet or foggy road, was not a factor in the accident, according to the sheriff. Woods was wearing his seatbelt and the airbags in the car were deployed, Rep. Gonzalez said. The bumper and front of the car were “destroyed,” but the interior cabin of the vehicle was “more or less intact,” Sheriff Villanueva said.
Investigators will likely be able to obtain information about what Woods was doing through the vehicle’s event data recorder, or “black box.” In addition, Congressman González was carrying a body camera when he arrived at the scene. It is not clear if there were witnesses to the accident; the first person to call 911 lives near where the vehicle was installed and heard about the accident, Deputy Gonzalez said.
Why was Woods in the Los Angeles area?
Woods, who lives in Florida, was in Southern California to host, but not compete, the Genesis Invitational at the Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades last weekend. Genesis Motor is a luxury vehicle division of Hyundai. Woods was in a 2021 Genesis GV80 SUV, which was provided to him during the tournament; he is known for always driving a courtesy car himself at tournaments.
Woods stayed after the weekend to do a promotional photoshoot for Golf Digest, and when the accident occurred, according to ESPN, he was heading to a photoshoot with NFL quarterbacks Drew Brees and Justin Herbert.
Where was Woods’ career before the accident?
Even before Tuesday’s crash, it was unclear when Woods, 45, would be able to play again or if he would be able to chase a record sixth Masters victory this spring.
Woods was trying to recover from his fifth back operation, a microdiscectomy he underwent last month.
When he appeared on CBS Sunday during the final round of the Genesis tournament, Woods was asked if he would compete in the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club in April. “God, I hope so,” he said. “I have to get there first.”
Although Woods said last month that he expected to miss at least two tournaments, he did not publicly rule out playing in the Masters, which he last won in 2019. On Sunday, he said he was “feeling good, a little stiff” and was looking forward to another exploration for MRI to assess your progress.
In the meantime, he said, “I was still doing the mundane things you have to do for rehab, the little things before you can start to gravitate towards something a little bit more.”
Woods tied for 38th at the 2020 Masters, which was played in November due to the coronavirus pandemic. Despite hitting a 10 on the 12th hole during the final round, he birdied five of the last six holes.