Tiger Woods was in a rollover car accident on Tuesday morning in Los Angeles just after 7 a.m., and hospitalized at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in serious but stable condition due to injuries in the single-vehicle wreck.
“Tiger Woods was in a single-car accident this morning in California where he suffered multiple leg injuries,” Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg said in a statement. “He is currently in surgery and we thank you for your privacy and support.”
Updated on Wednesday, February 24 at 9:oo a.m.: Woods had “Comminuted open fractures affecting both the upper and lower portions of the tibia and fibula bones” of his right leg as well. as “additional injuries to the bones of the foot and ankle.”
The Los Angeles County sheriff’s department tweeted out the news that Woods was the sole occupant of the vehicle and that according to reports, the windshield of the car had to be removed to free him from of the wreck. Early reports had stated that the “jaws of life” were used to extract Woods, which L.A. fire officials clarified at a press conference was not the case. A hooligan tool and axe were used to extricate Woods, according to the L.A. County Fire Chief Daryl Osby.
At the same press conference, Los Angeles County sheriff Alex Villanueva said that there was no sign of driver impairment in the crash. Still, Villanueva could not say one way or the other whether Woods was on the phone at the time of the crash.
“Downhill on a curve, it’s a lesson for everyone,” Villanueva said when asked about the speed of the vehicle.
“No skid marks, no braking,” Villanueva said, noting that “the first contact was with the center median, from there then crossed into the opposing lane of traffic, hit the curb, hit a tree, and there were several rollovers during that process.”
Deputy Carlos Gonzalez, who responded to the accident noted that Woods was “lucid and calm” when he arrived on the scene. Gonzalez also refuted reports that Woods was able to stand under his own power. Gonzalez also said that he was using his body camera, per department policy, when he arrived at the scene, and that Woods was wearing his seat belt.
Gonzalez said that he often does speed enforcement on that stretch of road, and while the speed limit is 45 miles per hour, he often catches people going 80.
“I asked what his name was, he told me his name was Tiger. And at that moment I immediately recognized him,” said Gonzalez. “I asked him if he knew where he was, what time of day, to make sure he was oriented. He seemed as though he was lucid and calm.”
Woods was taken to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, not the closer Torrance Memorial Medical Center, as Harbor-UCLA has a trauma center as his life was not in danger said Osby on CNN.
KFI radio correspondent Steven Gregory was first to report the crash, which occurred on a curving, hilly road on the border of Rancho Palos Verdes and Rolling Hills Estates.
Golf Digest reported that Woods, 45, was taken to the hospital, and Google Maps confirmed that Hawthorne Blvd. was closed at the scene of the crash. The vehicle was visible from the air, badly damaged.
Woods, who has been recovering from December back surgery and hoping to be able to play at The Masters, was all smiles on Monday as he took to the course with actor David Spade.
A 15-time major champion, Woods’ career was derailed after he suffered injuries in a 2009 car accident and his marriage to Elin Nordegren fell apart.
While CBS reported that Woods’ injuries are not life-threatening, which is excellent news, there still will be more to the story, including exactly what happened, and what kind of recovery is ahead for Woods.
According to ESPN’s Shelley Smith, Woods was on his way to Rolling Hills Country Club to take part in a photoshoot and play golf with Saints quarterback Drew Brees and Chargers QB Justin Herbert. Woods has been taking celebrities out on the course for some golf instruction as part of a TV project headed by Oprah Winfrey. Yesterday, Woods was out on the course with NBA star Dwyane Wade and Spade. Wade posted a video of himself and Tiger on his Instagram page.
Fox LA’s Bill Melguin added that while the crash is being investigated, no charges are currently pending, and that Woods was conscious when sheriff’s deputies arrived to help him.
The marking on the door of the vehicle says “GENESIS INVITATIONAL,” which is not just the name of the golf tournament Woods hosted at Riviera this past weekend, but the SUV that sponsored the event and which was involved in the wreck. While Woods was unable to play in the event, he presented the championship trophy to Max Homa. If the SUV, a 2021 Genesis, wasn’t Woods’ regular ride, it’s certainly possible that his unfamiliarity with the vehicle was a factor in the accident.
Villanueva confirmed that the vehicle was a courtesy car.
Golf legend Jack Nicklaus tweeted to express his concern for Woods.
This is a developing story.