Los Angeles officials have announced the cause of a crash that left golf legend Tiger Woods severely injured February 23, 2021. They examined a black box from his 2021 Genesis GV80 SUV and said Woods’ speed was twice the limit and he failed to negotiate a curve in the road.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villenueva said in a press conference April 7, 2021 that Woods was driving more than 80 miles per hour in a 45-miles-per-hour zone on Hawthorne Boulevard. He was extricated from his SUV and rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery on his leg. The crash location was on the border of Rolling Hills Estates and Rancho Palos Verdes. He was traveling northbound on Hawthorne Boulevard, at Blackhorse Road when he crashed the morning of February 23.
Here’s what you need to know:
Woods Hit a Tree at 75 MPH & Never Hit the Brakes, His SUV Data Recorder Showed
An examination of Woods’ data recorder in his SUV, or black box, showed he never hit the brakes when he left the road, said Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villenueva in a press conference. The pro golfer was driving between 84 and 87 miles per hour on Hawthorne Boulevard when he failed to properly negotiate a curve in the road and left the roadway. There, he hit a tree at 75 miles per hour, he said.
Officials faced criticism from some members of the public, claiming they were giving Woods preferential treatment. The Associated Press said officials did not seek a search warrant to obtain blood samples and determine if Woods was impaired during the crash, which investigators said was because he did not show signs of intoxication.
Capt. James Powers said during the press conference they did not have probable cause to obtain a search warrant. Powers said Woods showed no signs of impairment or intoxication. He speculated Woods may have panicked when he failed to hit the brakes.
“That is not preferential treatment,” Powers said, and added past behavior cannot be used as probable cause to get a search warrant.
Woods Has Said He Does Not Remember the Crash & Thanked First Responders for Rescuing Him
Woods has said he does not remember the crash. In a tweet April 7, he thanked first responders “for helping me so expertly at the scene and getting me safely to the hospital.”
Officials were slow to release the results of their black box investigation. They closed the investigation into the cause of the crash at the end of March, but did not share the results, citing privacy concerns.
“We have reached out to Tiger Woods and his personnel,” Villanueva told the Associated Press at the time. “There’s some privacy issues on releasing information on the investigation so we’re going to ask them if they waive the privacy and then we will be able to do a full release on all the information regarding the accident.”
The press conference was held after Woods gave permission to officials to release the information.
“Tiger woods and his representatives have been very cooperative throughout this investigative process,” Villanueva said.