For decades, residents on the Palos Verdes Peninsula have known that the steep, curving stretch of Hawthorne Boulevard heading into the Los Angeles Basin was a danger zone.
Numerous crashes dating from the 1970s — including one in which an out-of-control truck hit a car, burning three occupants to death — sparked debates about how to make the essential thoroughfare in and out of the tony coastal area safer.
“People speed down the road all the time. It is kind of an optical illusion, and it doesn’t seem like that huge a grade, but it is,” said Keith Swensson, a retired Los Angeles County sheriff’s commander who lives in Rancho Palos Verdes.
Then on Tuesday, legendary golfer Tiger Woods became the latest to crash on Hawthorne, suffering devastating injuries to his lower right leg that have jeopardized his latest career comeback.
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