Describing the Palos Verdes rollover crash that badly injured Tiger Woods as “purely an accident,” the Los Angeles County sheriff on Wednesday said authorities had no plans to pursue charges against the golf icon.
The curvy, downhill stretch of Hawthorne Boulevard where Woods’ SUV hit a median, careened across oncoming lanes and landed on the side of the road just after 7 a.m. Tuesday has been the site of 13 accidents since January 2020, Sheriff Alex Villanueva said in a news conference. Four of those incidents resulted in injuries.
While the maximum speed limit in the area is 45 mph, “even if you’re not accelerating, just by gravity alone, you’re gonna start going faster,” Villanueva said.
There were no skid marks and no evidence of impairment, either from drugs or alcohol, the sheriff reiterated. Woods was conscious and lucid when traffic Deputy Carlos Gonzalez found him.
However, a “black box” from the 2021 Genesis GV80 SUV Woods was driving will help investigators determine how fast he was traveling, Villanueva said.
Detectives could also look into whether Woods was distracted through a search warrant of phone records, the sheriff said.
“Definitely this stretch of the road is challenging, and if you’re not paying attention, you can see what happens,” Villanueva said.
He added, “There’ll be a cause of it, and there’ll be a vehicle code attached to the cause — if it’s inattentive driving, whatever the case may be. But that’s an infraction” and not a crime.
Woods was alone in the SUV when the incident happened. He was driving a courtesy vehicle from the Genesis Invitational, which had him host a tournament at Riviera Country Club over the weekend.
A post on Woods’ Twitter account Tuesday night said the athlete had undergone a “long surgical procedure” on his lower right leg and ankle, and that doctors used a rod, screws and pins to stabilize his bones. He’s expected to face a tough recovery.