Nearly two months after Tiger Woods’ terrifying car accident, the cause of the cash has been revealed. Here’s what we know.
The sports world held its collective breath on Feb. 23 after news of Tiger Woods’ terrifying car crash in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. Tiger, 45, suffered multiple injuries in the single-vehicle crash, requiring emergency surgery on his right leg. As the golf icon continues his recovery, the Los Angeles County Sherriff’s Department announced on Wednesday (Apr. 7) that its investigation revealed excessive speed was the main cause of the accident. L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said Tiger was driving somewhere between 84-87 miles per hour when he struck the median and was going 75 when he hit the tree. Investigators believe Tiger inadvertently accelerated instead of hitting the break when he realized he was losing control. There were no citations issued and no signs of impairment.
JUST IN: Official says primary cause for Tiger Woods crash was “driving at a speed unsafe for the road conditions and the inability to negotiate the curve of the roadway.”
— ABC News (@ABC) April 7, 2021
LA Sheriff says Tiger Woods driving speed was 84-87 mph when struck median and 75 mpg when hit tree. No signs of impairment and “past history” not probably cause, so no need for subpoena.
— Geoff Shackelford (@GeoffShac) April 7, 2021
Los Angeles Co. Sheriff Villanueva says cause of #TigerWoods crash was speeding (84-86 MPH). “I know there are reports that he received some kind of preferential treatment (regarding impairment testing). That is absolutely false.”
— Jon Wiener (@jonwienershow) April 7, 2021
Tiger was driving his Genesis GV80 SUV to an L.A. golf course when he struck a raised median around 7 a.m., local time, on the border of Rolling Hills Estates and Rancho Palo Verdes. The SUV crossed two oncoming lanes of traffic and uprooted a tree when he rolled his car down the treacherous embankment. Initial reports claimed that the “Jaws of Life” were used to extract Tiger from the wrecked car. Sherriff Villanueva later told reporters that was not the case, and rescuers deployed only an ax to rescue woods. Tiger suffered “crush injuries of both lower legs, including a compound fracture and a shattered ankle,” and Tiger was taken to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center for surgery.
While Tiger was laid up in the hospital, his girlfriend, Erica Herman, paid him a visit. The two of them have been dating since 2017, and she’s been seen cheering him from the sidelines at many major golf tournaments. Tiger’s kids, Sam, 13, and Charlie, 13, were seen with their mom, Elin Nordegren, out in Florida. Tiger was “fine with them being Elin” as he recovered, a source told HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY. “He feels that it would be too dramatic for them to see their dad hurt.”
Tiger’s team released a statement a day after the crash, saying he suffered “significant orthopedic injuries to his lower right extremity (leg) that were treated…by [an] Orthopedic trauma specialist.” Tiger also had fractures along the upper and lower portions of the tibia and fibula, and that the injuries were stabilized with a rod, screws, and pins. At the time, Tiger was “awake, responsive, and recovering.”
Five days after the accident, Tiger issued his first statement since the accident. After watching the WGC-Workday Championship, where various golfers donned red polos in support, Tiger shared how the gesture moved him. “It is hard to explain how touching today was when I turned on the TV and saw all the red shirts. To every golfer and every fan, you are truly helping me get through this tough time.”
A witness who lived near the crash site and went over to help reportedly told authorities that Tiger was “unconscious” when he got to the vehicle, but a sheriff’s deputy said that Tiger “later appeared to be in shock but was conscious and able to answer basic questions.” Sheriff Villanueva initially called the crash “purely an accident” and that there was no indication of impairment, per ESPN. This statement has been cited as a reason why investigators didn’t seek a search warrant for Tiger’s blood samples, which they would have tested for drugs and alcohol. Tiger was charged with a DUI in 2017, and he would later seek “professional help to manage [the] medications” that impaired his driving.
Investigators did obtain a search warrant for the SUV’s data recorder, aka the car’s black box. “We have reached out to Tiger Woods and his personnel,” Villanueva said, per ESPN. “There are some privacy issues on releasing information on the investigation, so we’re going to ask them if they waive the privacy, and then we will be able to do a full release on all the information regarding the accident.”