The Los Angeles County Sheriff says Tiger Woods survived "what would otherwise have been a fatal crash" because the interior of his vehicle remained intact, while also revealing there were no signs that he braked or slowed down.
The 45-year-old Woods suffered multiple leg injuries in a single-vehicle accident in the Los Angeles area on Wednesday and was rushed to hospital for surgery.
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Woods was the sole occupant in the SUV and had to be extricated from the vehicle with the "jaws of life" tools.
Authorities say there's no immediate evidence that Woods was impaired in the single-vehicle crash that left him with serious injuries to both legs.
However, Sheriff Alex Villanueva says Woods appears to have been travelling at a "relatively greater speed than normal" and that there were no skid marks or signs of braking.
"Thankfully the interior was more or less intact, which kind of gave him the cushion to survive what otherwise would have been a fatal crash," Villanueva said.
TMZ has since reported that Woods was seen leaving a hotel in an “agitated and impatient” state before the horror accident.
Tiger Woods taken to Harbor UCLA trauma center after rollover crash left him seriously injured, investigators say no skid-marks or signs of braking as Woods hit center median and rolled several times. Sheriff says speed was factor. @CBSLA #TigerWoods pic.twitter.com/cIyuMmeWfP
— JASMINE VIEL (@jasmineviel) February 24, 2021
“Tiger was staying at a hotel where a major network television show was being shot,” according to TMZ.
“Production sources tell TMZ, when the director arrived just before 7am, Tiger was driving his SUV very fast as he was leaving the property and almost hit the director’s car.
“The director was shaken enough to tell production staff about it after he parked.
“A crew member who saw Tiger as he got in his SUV at the hotel tells TMZ, once Tiger got in his vehicle, there was a delay in driving off and he appeared ‘agitated and impatient’.
"The crew member says once the delay was over, Tiger ‘took off fast’.”
Sporting world stunned by Tiger Woods accident
Deputy Carlos Gonzalez of the Los Angeles Sheriff Department was first on the scene and said a conscious Woods was "not able to stand under his own power" before being removed from the vehicle.
He said that Woods was wearing his seatbelt and was "still calm and lucid" when he told him his name.
"I will say that it's very fortunate that Mr. Woods was able to come out of this alive, because this is an accident prone stretch of road," Gonzalez said.
Woods was in Los Angeles over the weekend as the tournament host of the Genesis Invitational at Riviera, where he presented the trophy.
He was supposed to spend Monday and Tuesday filming with Discovery-owned GOLFTV, with whom he has an endorsement contract.
News of the accident sent shockwaves through the sporting world, with Jack Nicklaus, whose record of 18 major titles has been one of Woods' biggest goals, baseball star Alex Rodriguez and Wales soccer ace Gareth Bale among those to tweet their best wishes.
The PGA Tour issued a statement from Commissioner Jay Monahan.
"We have been made aware of Tiger Woods' car accident today," it said.
"We are awaiting further information when he comes out of surgery.
"On behalf of the PGA TOUR and our players, Tiger is in our prayers and will have our full support as he recovers."
Statement from the PGA TOUR on Tiger Woods.
Woods was involved in a single-car accident this morning in California and suffered multiple leg injuries. pic.twitter.com/iEx6QUiKcN
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) February 23, 2021
Woods, a 15-time major champion, last played on December 20 in the PNC Championship with his 11-year-old son, Charlie.
He had a fifth surgery on his back, a microdiscectomy, two days before Christmas and gave no indication when he would return.
Wednesday's incident is the third time Woods has been involved in a major motor vehicle investigation.
The most notorious occurred in the early hours after Thanksgiving in 2009, when his SUV ran over a fire hydrant and hit a tree.
Ex-wife Elin Nordegren had attacked Woods and the car with a golf club after discovering that he had been cheating with multiple women.
Sick to my stomach right now. Praying for @TigerWoods and hoping for an amazing recovery. Thinking about his entire family and team, as all of us are sending our best wishes. We know TW is a fighter. Get well soon 🐅!!!
— Justin Thomas (@JustinThomas34) February 23, 2021
Praying for TW right now 🙏🏻
— lindsey vonn (@lindseyvonn) February 23, 2021
— Alex Rodriguez (@AROD) February 23, 2021
Fight @tigerwoods like the champion you are for your kids and the world. Love and prayers
— Mike Tyson (@MikeTyson) February 23, 2021
Everyone send your prayers out to Tiger Woods! He was just in a bad car accident. Let us all pray for his speedy recovery 🙏🏾
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) February 23, 2021
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