Tiger Woods drove as fast as 87 mph — more than 45 mph above the legal limit — before his SUV crashed in Southern California in late February, severely injuring the golfing legend’s leg, investigators said Wednesday.
Woods’ vehicle, a 2021 Genesis GV80 SUV, was traveling at an estimated 75 mph when it crashed into a tree and began to roll, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, citing a data recorder in the luxury vehicle.
The recorder showed the vehicle was traveling 68 to 86.99 mph at some points before Woods failed to make a turn in the roadway just outside Los Angeles.
In any case, it was Woods’ third mysterious car accident.
Sheriff Alex Villanueva – who adamantly denied that Woods received favorable treatment in this investigation – said the most recent accident on Feb. 23 resulted from Woods, 45, driving in an unsafe manner given the road conditions.
At a news conference, Villanueva also said there was no evidence that Woods was disabled or intoxicated at the time of the Feb. 23 crash in Rolling Hills Estates.
Investigators did not check if Woods texted before the crash and said it was not necessary.
They also said they will not issue a subpoena for Woods, who is recovering at his Florida home. To issue a ticket for reckless driving would require evidence that Woods had committed multiple offenses prior to the crash, such as unsafe lane changes or unsafe passing by other cars, investigators said.
Woods does not remember anything about the collision, investigators said at the news conference.
Villanueva said he could only release the cause of the crash because Woods agreed. By law, the sheriff said, such accident reports are confidential unless people involved in the incident consent to their disclosure.
“The primary causative factor for this traffic collision was driving at a speed that was unsafe for the road conditions and the inability to corner the roadway. Estimated speeds in the first impact area were 84 to 87 miles per hour,” Villanueva said. .
Woods did not brake before crashing the car, according to researchers. They said the data recorder reveals that he may have accidentally pressed the accelerator instead of the brakes before the crash.
“I know some say that somehow he received special or preferential treatment, whatever, that is absolutely incorrect,” Villanueva said.
“There were no signs of damage. Our first concern when we were clearly at the crash site was his safety.”
Villanueva said there was no probable cause, such as open beverage containers or signs of narcotics in the car, that would have allowed investigators to obtain a search warrant to test Woods’ blood for intoxicants.
In a statement released later Wednesday, Woods made no apologies for driving at nearly double the legal speed limit.
Instead, Woods said he was “so grateful to both Good Samaritans who came to help me and called 911” after his SUV flipped over.
“I am also grateful to the LASD Delegates and LA Firefighter/Paramedics, especially LA Sheriff’s Deputy Carlos Gonzalez and LAFD Engine Co. #106 Fire Paramedics Smith and Gimenez, for their expert assistance on the scene and getting me safely to the hospital.” bring. “
“I will continue to focus on my recovery and my family, and I want to thank everyone for the overwhelming support and encouragement I have received during this very difficult time,” Woods said.
The golfer, who was alone in the SUV, was trapped in the wreckage, which happened after hitting a median strip, then crashing into undergrowth and hitting a tree at 7:12 a.m. PT on Feb. 23.
After being freed from the vehicle, Woods was taken to a hospital, where he underwent emergency surgery for what a doctor at the time called “significant orthopedic injuries” to his right lower leg.
A rod was inserted to stabilize his shin and femur bones, while a “combination of screws and pins” was used to stabilize injuries to the bones of the foot and ankle, according to a statement on Woods’ Twitter account.
Woods stayed at a resort in Rolling Hills after hosting the Genesis Invitational tournament. He stayed in the area to film as part of a deal he has with Golf Digest and the Discovery Channel.
Just two days before the crash, Woods was asked during a CBS Sports interview if he would play at the Masters tournament, which begins this Thursday at the Augusta National Golf Course in Georgia.
“God, I hope so,” he said.
Woods’ epic career, with 82 PGA titles and wins from 15 major championships, was turned upside down in November 2009 after he crashed into a fire hydrant with another SUV one morning just outside his then hometown of Florida.
Woods was knocked unconscious for over five minutes by that crash. His then-wife, Elin Nordegren, allegedly used a golf club to smash a window and drag him out of the car.
In May 2017, Woods was charged with drink-driving in Florida after police killed him in a damaged car.
In an apology later, Woods blamed “an unexpected reaction” to a mixture of prescription drugs for his fainting.
“I want the public to know there was no alcohol involved,” Woods said at the time.
A month after that arrest, Woods entered a clinic for treatment for prescription painkiller problems and a sleep disorder.
Woods would use pain medication to help him get up and move around as he recovers from four back surgeries.
In January, Woods revealed that he had undergone his fifth microdisectomy surgery on his back to remove a pressurized disc fragment that hurt him at the PNC Championship in Orlando, Florida, in December.
That tournament was the last time he competed.