sunny.png
Sunday April 11th, 2021 2:58PM

Tiger Woods was driving more than 80 mph when he crashed SUV

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Tiger Woods was driving more than 80 mph — nearly twice the posted speed limit — on a downhill stretch of road when he lost control of an SUV and crashed in a wreck that seriously injured the golf superstar, authorities said Wednesday.

Sheriff Alex Villanueva blamed the Feb. 23 crash 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.

“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.

On Twitter, Woods thanked first responders, as well as the people who called 911.

“I will continue to focus on my recovery and family, and thank everyone for the overwhelming support and encouragement I’ve received throughout this very difficult time,” Woods wrote.

Documents show that Woods told deputies he did not know how the crash occurred and did not remember driving. At the time of the wreck, Woods was recovering from a fifth back surgery, which took place two months earlier.

Woods, who is originally from the Los Angeles area, had been back home to host his PGA tournament, the Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club, when the crash happened.

He was driving an SUV loaned to him by the tournament when he struck a raised median in Rolling Hills Estates, just outside Los Angeles. The SUV crossed through two oncoming lanes and uprooted a tree, striking it at 75 mph (120 kph).

Jonathan Cherney, an accident reconstruction expert and retired Irvine, California, police detective, said the sheriff did not explain a fundamental part of the case: Why was Woods driving so fast?

“To just blanket it with an unsafe speed violation is the easy way out," said Cherney, who walked the crash site. "We still are missing the key factors that kind of explain why or how this whole sequence of events began.”

Cherney questioned whether Woods may have fallen unconscious at some point, citing the lack of evidence of braking, steering or anything else to suggest the driver was "aware of what’s going on or attempting to avoid the crash.” He also said investigators had enough probable cause to seek blood samples.

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 45-year-old athlete has never gone an entire year without playing, dating back to his first PGA Tour event as a 16-year-old in high school. He had hoped to play this year in the Masters tournament, which begins Thursday.

Rory McIlroy, a four-time major golf champion who lives near Woods in Florida, said he visited Woods last month and found him to be “in decent spirits.”

“When you hear of these things and you look at the car and you see the crash, you think he’s going to be in a hospital bed for six months. But he was actually doing better than that,” McIlroy said Tuesday from the Masters.

In the days after the crash, the sheriff called it “purely an accident” and said there was no evidence of impairment. Villanueva faced criticism for labeling the crash an accident before the investigation had concluded and pushed back Wednesday against allegations of special treatment for the golf star.

“That is absolutely false,” he said.

Last week, Villanueva said investigators had determined the cause of the crash but would not reveal it. He claimed he needed permission from Woods to do so. The sheriff said Wednesday that Woods — who has a yacht named Privacy — had approved the release of the investigation's findings.

Villanueva also declined to release footage from deputies' body cameras, citing the athlete's privacy.

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.

Woods also lost major corporate sponsorships in the backlash and went to a rehabilitation clinic. He did not return to golf for five months.

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.

___

Associated Press Golf Writer Doug Ferguson in Augusta, Georgia, contributed to this report.

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Golf, AP National News, AP Online National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, Top General short headlines, AP Entertainment, APOnline Celebrity News, AP Sports - PGA
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Judge orders release of ex-Dallas cop arrested in killings
A judge on Wednesday ordered the release of a former Dallas police officer accused of ordering two killings in 2017
6:09PM ( 9 minutes ago )
EXPLAINER: Did Floyd really yell, 'I ate too many drugs?'
The defense attorney for the former Minneapolis police officer on trial in the death of George Floyd has tried to show that Floyd yelled “I ate too many drugs” as officers pinned him to the ground
6:02PM ( 15 minutes ago )
Tiger Woods was driving more than 80 mph when he crashed SUV
Tiger Woods was going more than 80 mph — nearly twice the posted speed limit — on a downhill stretch of road when he lost control of an SUV outside Los Angeles
6:00PM ( 18 minutes ago )
U.S. News
Summoning seniors: White House pushing to vaccinate elderly
The Biden administration and allies in the states are combating vaccine hesitancy among older Americans, one person at a time
6:13PM ( 4 minutes ago )
Sandoval, Acuña lead Braves to doubleheader sweep of Nats
Atlanta pinch-hitter Pablo Sandoval drove a two-run homer to the deepest part of the ballpark off a Washington reliever who took over after Stephen Strasburg’s six scoreless innings to lift the Braves to a 2-0 victory over the Nationals and a doubleheader sweep
6:04PM ( 13 minutes ago )
Mexico president justifies release of kingpin targeted by US
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has defended the 2013 ruling that freed one of the drug lords most wanted by U.S. authorities, even though Mexico’s Supreme Court later ruled it was a mistake
6:00PM ( 17 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Reds keep rolling, hit 4 HRs to back Castillo, sweep Pirates
Tyler Naquin hit another leadoff home run and the high-scoring Cincinnati Reds kept rolling, backing Luis Castillo to rout the Pittsburgh Pirates 11-4 for their fifth straight win
4:43PM ( 1 hour ago )
Alabama's Smith headlines players attending NFL draft
Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith of Alabama is scheduled to appear in person in Cleveland at the NFL draft later this month
4:35PM ( 1 hour ago )
Nike suspends sponsorship of Deshaun Watson amid allegations
Nike has suspended its endorsement contract with Deshaun Watson amid allegations of sexual assault and harassment against the Houston Texans quarterback
4:32PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Sports
Tiger Woods was speeding before crashing SUV, sheriff says
Tiger Woods was going nearly 90 mph — twice the posted speed limit — on a downhill stretch of road when he lost control of an SUV outside Los Angeles
2:15PM ( 4 hours ago )
Los Angeles sheriff to reveal cause of Tiger Woods crash
The sheriff for Los Angeles County plans to announce what caused golf icon Tiger Woods to crash an SUV in Southern California earlier this year
12:58PM ( 5 hours ago )
The Latest: Brewers set to start allowing tailgating again
The Milwaukee Brewers are going to start allowing tailgating again outside American Family Field before home games
12:39PM ( 5 hours ago )
AP Online Golf
Biden to nominate gun control advocate Chipman to lead ATF
The Biden administration is expected to nominate David Chipman, a former federal agent and adviser at the gun control group Giffords, to be director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
4:51PM ( 1 hour ago )
Jill Biden shines fresh spotlight on military family program
Jill Biden is bringing a new focus to the cause of supporting America's military families
4:51PM ( 1 hour ago )
Snub in EU-Turkey meeting highlights gender equality issue
The topic of gender equality took center stage Wednesday in Brussels a day after Ursula von der Leyen, one the most powerful European Union’s executives, was treated like a second-rank official during a visit to the Turkish capital of Ankara
4:24PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
Jordan king doubles down on sedition claims against brother
Jordan’s king has addressed the public feud with his half-brother, Prince Hamzah, portraying it as an attempted “sedition” that caused him shock, anger and pain
2:54PM ( 3 hours ago )
Iran ship said to be Red Sea troop base off Yemen attacked
An Iranian ship believed to be a base for the paramilitary Revolutionary Guard anchored for years in the Red Sea off Yemen has been attacked
2:09PM ( 4 hours ago )
The Latest: Thailand has 1st case of Britain virus variant
Health officials in Thailand have confirmed the first local cases of the coronavirus variant first detected in Britain
1:37PM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Online National News
MSNBC apologizes for showing wrong video of congressman
MSNBC apologized Wednesday for mistakenly airing video footage of another Black congressman while reporting on the death of U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings of Florida a day earlier
4:50PM ( 1 hour ago )
With outdoor concert, Lincoln Center starts path to return
Members of the New York Philharmonic gave an outdoor concert at Lincoln Center for heath care workers on Wednesday, 13 months after the novel coronavirus pandemic decimated their season
4:39PM ( 1 hour ago )
Former Vice President Mike Pence memoir set for 2023 release
Former Vice President Mike Pence has a book deal
3:22PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Entertainment
Paris Hilton returns to Utah for ceremonial bill signing
Paris Hilton returned to Salt Lake City for a ceremonial bill signing for a law that regulates treatment centers for troubled teens in Utah
6:52PM ( 23 hours ago )
Dave Grohl memoir 'The Storyteller' coming out October 5
Some unexpected free time in 2020 led Grammy winner Dave Grohl to put some thoughts and memories into words
10:56AM ( 1 day ago )
Myanmar junta charges celebrities with promoting protests
Myanmar’s ruling junta has stepped up its campaign against celebrities who support nationwide protests against its seizure of power, publishing illustrated wanted lists in the state press and warning against using their work
8:54PM ( 1 day ago )
APOnline Celebrity News
At the Masters, past champions are welcomed back to field
Fred Couples was playing a practice round at Augusta National this week, with the other members of his foursome all sharing a few things in common
9:46AM ( 1 day ago )
Family legacy: Tyler Strafaci follows grandfather to Masters
There’s a bronze medal that Tyler Strafaci’s father has kept in his office for years
5:53PM ( 2 days ago )
At the Masters, Bubba Watson enjoys standard Augusta fare
Bubba Watson will be enjoying the elegant Masters Club dinner menu chosen by Dustin Johnson
5:50PM ( 2 days ago )
AP Sports - PGA
Judge orders release of ex-Dallas cop arrested in killings
A judge on Wednesday ordered the release of a former Dallas police officer accused of ordering two killings in 2017
6:09PM ( 9 minutes ago )
EXPLAINER: Did Floyd really yell, 'I ate too many drugs?'
The defense attorney for the former Minneapolis police officer on trial in the death of George Floyd has tried to show that Floyd yelled “I ate too many drugs” as officers pinned him to the ground
6:02PM ( 16 minutes ago )
6 charged in NH youth detention center sex abuse probe
New Hampshire's attorney general's office said six men were arrested Wednesday in connection with sexual abuse allegations at a state-run youth detention center
5:53PM ( 24 minutes ago )
Expert: Chauvin never took knee off Floyd's neck
A use-of-force expert says Derek Chauvin had his knee on George Floyd’s neck the entire time that he was handcuffed behind his back and lying facedown
5:52PM ( 26 minutes ago )
EXPLAINER: Could mask hamper ex-officer's image with jurors?
The face mask that former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin has been required to wear during his trial in George Floyd’s death has hidden his reaction to testimony
5:23PM ( 54 minutes ago )