It’s been less than two months since golf legend Tiger Woods was hospitalised after a near-fatal car crash, and authorities have revealed that speeding was the cause.
Tiger was driving at about 140km/h in a 72km/h when he lost control of his SUV on 23 February, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s department.
County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said Tiger (45) veered over a median before hitting a curb on the opposite side of the road. It is believed the SUV he was driving hit a tree while travelling at 120km/h, sending it flying into the air.
“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,” Villanueva said at a press briefing.
There were no signs that the golfer was intoxicated or impaired and his seatbelt saved his life, authorities said.
The damage to the vehicle was catastrophic and rescuers had to cut the golf champ out of the wreckage. If he hadn’t been wearing a seatbelt, it’s unlikely Tiger would’ve survived.
He had an open fracture of his right leg – bone protruding through flesh – and his ankle was shattered.
Tiger has already had several surgeries and more await, along with months of rehab.
He will not be prosecuted for the crash, as this is only permitted under Californian law if excessive speeds are witnessed by a law enforcement officer or an independent witness, and there were no witnesses on the scene that day.
The golfer’s SUV went hurtling off the road while he was negotiating a steep hill with sharp bends, in Hawthorne Boulevard, in Rancho Palos Verdes, a wealthy suburb in California. That stretch of road is notorious for crashes, according to residents and authorities.
Tiger thanked those “who came to assist me and called 911” via a message on Twitter.
“I will continue to focus on my recovery and my family, and thank everyone for the overwhelming support and encouragement I've received.”
An insider revealed to People magazine that after spending a month in hospital, Tiger is now home in Florida with his children, Sam (13) and Charlie (12), and “knows he is lucky to be alive”. He is focused on his recovery and his rehabilitation plan.
“He is still recovering and has some pain, but he is in good spirits,” the source added.