Tiger Woods suffers leg injuries following car crash in Rancho Palos Verdes area

Wednesday, February 24, 2021
What we know about Tiger Woods' crash and how it unfolded
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Tiger Woods was driving through a sweeping, downhill stretch of road through coastal suburbs of Los Angeles when his SUV struck a sign, crossed over a raised median and two oncoming lanes before it toppled down an embankment, coming to a halt on its side.

RANCHO PALOS VERDES, Calif. (KABC) -- Tiger Woods suffered multiple leg injuries and underwent surgery following a vehicle rollover crash in the Rancho Palos Verdes area early Tuesday, his manager confirmed.

The crash happened on the border of Rolling Hills Estates around 7:12 a.m. Tuesday, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Details about what led up the crash were not released, but authorities say the SUV was traveling northbound on Hawthorne Boulevard when it crashed at Blackhorse Road.

No other cars were involved in the wreck that injured Woods. The golf star was the only person in the 2021 Genesis GV80, which sustained major damage, and he was extricated from the wreck by L.A. County firefighters and paramedics. He was taken to a local trauma center in serious but stable condition.

Sources tell ESPN that Woods has crush injuries of both lower legs, including a compound fracture and a shattered ankle. He underwent hours of surgery.

Late Tuesday night, the Tiger Woods Twitter account released a statement from an official at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center describing his injury and the surgery.

The statement from Dr. Anish Mahajan, chief medical officer and interim CEO at Harbor-UCLA, said Woods "suffered significant orthopaedic injuries to his right lower extremity." Rods, pins and screws were used to stabilize the bones in his foot and ankle.

"He is currently awake, responsive, and recovering in his hospital room," the message from TGR Ventures said.

Related: Tiger Woods is 'responsive,' 'recovering' from serious injuries, statement says

A statement on Tiger Woods' Twitter account said he was awake, responsive and recovering. A doctor at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center said Woods shattered tibia and fibula bones on his right leg in multiple locations.

While the cause of the accident is being investigated, the sheriff's department said there was no obvious indication of a DUI. Among the other factors that will be investigated are speed and possible distractions such as cellphone usage but it was too early at this point to determine if either of those were issues, officials said.

The stretch of Hawthorne Boulevard where the crash occurred is described as a common site for accidents, with cars often speeding and losing control on the downhill slope.

Woods crashed first into a sign that welcomes visitors to Rolling Hills Estates in the center median. His vehicle than crossed over lanes on the other side of the road, hit another sign and a tree before rolling over into the brush, officials said.

The sheriff's deputy who was first on scene Tuesday morning said he has responded to many crashes in that area, including some that were fatal. The speed limit is 45 mph, but he said he has clocked other vehicles going 80.

Watch: Los Angeles County officials provide update on Tiger Woods crash

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva and Fire Chief Osby give the latest information about the investigation into Tiger Woods' Feb. 23 crash.

Deputy Carlos Gonzalez said he arrived on scene and found Woods trapped in the driver's seat. He seemed "calm and lucid" despite his substantial injuries.

"I asked him what his name was. He told me his name was Tiger and that moment I immediately recognized him," Gonzalez said.

Woods was wearing his seatbelt and the airbag had deployed.

He was not able to stand on his own, but was placed onto a backboard by paramedics.

While the exterior of the vehicle was significantly damaged, the interior remained mostly intact.

"That gave him the cushion to survive what otherwise would've been a fatal crash," county fire chief Daryl Osby said.

Watch live coverage on the big screen with the ABC7 apps. Search "ABC7 Los Angeles" on your streaming device and download our free app - learn more here.

AIR7 HD was over the scene of the accident, showing the car on its side with the front end heavily damaged. Air bags appeared to be deployed, and luggage was also seen nearby.

The wreckage appeared to be just off the side of a road on a hillside. There was a second crash when a vehicle that had apparently stopped to help Woods got hit, said Christopher Thomas, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Fire Department. That wreck was very minor, and no one was hurt.

Related: LASD spokesperson describes investigation into violent crash involving Tiger Woods

After golf star Tiger Woods suffered leg injuries in a vehicle rollover in suburban Los Angeles and was rushed into surgery, sheriff's lieutenant spoke with ABC7 about the investigation into the crash.

According to Capt. James Power from the sheriff's department, the jaws of life were not used to rescue Woods, as previously reported. First responders used tools - a Halligan tool and ax- to open the windshield and extricate him, officials said.

The crash was reported by a neighbor at 7:12 a.m. Sheriff's deputies were on the scene by 7:18 a.m. and firefighters were called in at 7:22 a.m. and arrived at 7:28 a.m.

"We hear accidents very often, and a lot of times you hear tires screeching and the kind of crash and bang. This morning, we didn't hear any tires screeching, just a loud noise... I heard a click, a thump and kind of the bushes," said neighborhood resident Keith Cole.

While his injuries were described as substantial, they were not considered life-threatening, county fire officials said. Paramedics determined they did not need to transport him to the nearest hospital for immediate life-saving measures but instead decided it was more appropriate given his injuries to bring him to the nearest trauma center, Harbor UCLA, Osby 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 to spend Monday and Tuesday filming with Discovery-owned GOLFTV, with whom he has an endorsement contract. One tweet on Monday showed him in a cart smiling with David Spade.

The vehicle Woods was driving was a silver Hyundai Genesis SUV with a logo of the Genesis Invitational on the side. Woods was photographed standing next to a similar vehicle, if not the same one, two days earlier, in an Instagram post from Genesis USA.

According to Golf Digest, also owned by Discovery, the TV shoot was for on-course lessons to celebrities, such as Spade and retired basketball star Dwyane Wade. He did not play. Woods was believed to be headed to play golf and do a photo shoot Tuesday with NFL quarterbacks Drew Brees and Justin Herbert, a source tells Eyewitness News.

What we know about Tiger Woods' condition after car crash

Dr. Anthony Cardillo breaks down what we know about Tiger Woods' condition after the golf legend was involved in a car crash Tuesday in Rancho Palos Verdes, California.

The 15-time major champion last played Dec. 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. The Masters is April 8-11 and when asked if he would be there, Woods replied, "God, I hope so."

3rd car investigation for Tiger Woods

This is the third time Woods has been involved in a car investigation. The most notorious was the early morning after Thanksgiving in 2009, when his SUV ran over a fire hydrant and hit a tree near his home in Florida. That was the start of shocking revelations that he had been cheating on his wife with multiple women. Woods lost major corporate sponsorships, went to a rehabilitation clinic in Mississippi and did not return to golf for five months.

In May 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 later pleaded guilty to reckless driving and checked into a clinic to get help with prescription medication and a sleep disorder.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.