Sheriff Alex Villanueva blamed the February 23rd crash of a SUV driven by Tiger Woods outside Los Angeles solely on excessive speed and Woods’ loss of control behind the wheel. The athlete will not face any citations for his third high-profile collision in 11 years.
Woods is in Florida recovering from multiple surgeries, including procedures to repair two broken bones in his lower right leg with a rod in his shinbone. He also has screws and pins in his foot and ankle.
“The primary causal factor for this traffic collision was driving at a speed unsafe for the road conditions and the inability to negotiate the curve of the roadway,” the sheriff told a news conference.
Woods was driving 84 to 87 mph (135 to 140 kph) in an area with a speed limit of 45 mph (72 kph), Villanueva said. No one else was hurt, and no other vehicles were involved.
The stretch of road is known for wrecks and drivers who frequently hit high speeds. Due to the steepness of the terrain, a runaway truck escape lane is available just beyond where Woods crashed.
There was no evidence that the golfer tried to brake, and investigators believe Woods may have inadvertently stepped on the accelerator instead of the brake pedal in a panic, said sheriff’s Capt. James Powers, who oversees the sheriff’s station closest to the crash site.
Woods was wearing a seat belt at the time, and the vehicle’s airbags deployed. He told deputies that he had not taken medication or consumed alcohol before the crash, sheriff’s officials said.
Detectives did not seek search warrants for Woods’ blood samples, which could have been screened for drugs or alcohol, or his cellphone. Authorities said there was no evidence of impairment or of distracted driving, so they did not have probable cause to get warrants. Investigators did search the SUV’s data recorder, known as a black box, which revealed the vehicle’s speed.
This is the third time Woods has been involved in a vehicle investigation.
The most notorious example dates back to 2009, when his SUV ran over a fire hydrant and hit a tree early on the morning after Thanksgiving. While Woods was cited for careless driving and fined $164, the crash was the start of revelations that he had been cheating on his wife with multiple women.
In 2017, Florida police found him asleep behind the wheel of a car parked awkwardly on the side of the road. He was arrested on a DUI charge and said later he had an unexpected reaction to prescription medicine for his back pain.
Woods pleaded guilty to reckless driving and checked into a clinic to get help with prescription medication and a sleep disorder.