Fresh doubt cast over police in Tiger Woods investigation

Andrew Reid
·4-min read
A man is seen here investigating the site of the Tiger Woods car crash.
Authorities have been questioned over the investigation into the Tiger Woods crash. Pic: Getty

US authorities have been called into question over the investigation into Tiger Woods' horror car crash in February.

Woods was driving alone through a sweeping, downhill stretch of road through coastal suburbs of Los Angeles when his SUV struck a sign, crossed over two oncoming lanes and flipped several times before coming to rest on its side.

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The golfer was rushed to hospital and had to undergo multiple surgeries for leg injuries sustained in the crash.

The LA County Sheriff’s Department said at the time that they "did not see any evidence of impairment" from Woods and ruled that the crash was "purely an accident."

However, authorities have been accused of giving the superstar golfer favourable treatment, with several parts of the investigation coming under fire.

USA TODAY Sports has interviewed several forensic and crash experts who believe investigators should have been more thorough before making their conclusions.

In particular, forensic experts are questioning why the crash was framed as a "pure accident" and why a drug-recognition expert wasn’t brought in right away.

A USA TODAY Sports report stated: "Available evidence in the case indicates Woods was inattentive or asleep when his vehicle went straight into a median instead of staying with his lane as it curved right, multiple forensic experts told USA TODAY Sports.

"Woods also told deputies twice that he didn’t remember how the crash occurred and didn’t even remember driving after surviving the crash with broken bones in his right leg."

Earlier this month, three experts claimed the crash most likely occurred because of fatigue on the golfer's part.

Pictured here, Tiger Woods and the damage to his car after it crashed.
Tiger Woods (pictured left) could have fallen asleep at the wheel after he crashed his car (pictured right) in LA, according to experts. Pic: Getty

Woods' car travelled across two lanes before running off the road, hitting a tree and rolling.

But experts claim one of the factors to why they believe he may have been asleep is because he continued straight, rather than veered, off the road.

Injuries to his right leg also suggest he was applying the brake upon impact, according to the experts.

“To me, this is like a classic case of falling asleep behind the wheel, because the road curves and his vehicle goes straight,” expert Jonathan Cherney told USA Sports Today.

The consultant, who provides car accident analysis as an expert witness in court cases, examined Woods' crash after the incident.

“It’s a drift off the road, almost like he was either unconscious, suffering from a medical episode or fell asleep and didn’t wake up until he was off the road and that’s where the brake application came in," he added.

Seen here, a crane lifts Tiger Woods's car from the site of his crash.
Workers move a vehicle after a rollover accident involving Tiger Woods. (Mark J. Terrill for For The Times)

Speed not 'much of an issue' in crash

Expert Felix Lee claimed due to the anti-lock brakes, “you wouldn’t necessarily see tyre marks."

The accident reconstruction expert who is part of the Expert Institute also claimed speed was most likely not a factor considering the vehicle went straight into the median.

“My feeling is that speed wasn’t that much of an issue,” Lee said.

“It was just some kind of inattention that caused the curb strike.”

After leaving the median, Woods car went around 400 feet (121 metres) before stopping, according to experts.

Cherney said there appeared to be no evidence of 'steering input' that indicated Woods tried to avoid the emergency.

Expert Rami Hashish claimed: "It was suggesting he wasn't paying attention at all."

Woods is still recovering in hospital, with rival golfer Rory McIlroy revealing last week that he could be set to return home in the coming days.

“I’ve spoken to him a little bit. He’s doing better,” McIlroy said.

“I think all the guys have reached out to him. Hopefully if things go well over the next week or so, he might be able to get home and start recovery at home, which would be great for him.

"See his kids, see his family. But yeah, he’s doing better. And I think all of us are wishing him a speedy recovery at this point.”

with agencies

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