Tiger Woods crash: How 15-minute car ride ended in disaster for the athlete


Tiger Woods is recovering in hospital after a ‘horror’ crash in Los Angeles left him with a shattered right leg and doubts hanging over whether he will be able to play golf again. 

Questions are also being asked over how the crash happened. Police say Woods was not obviously intoxicated, but blood tests will be carried out as part of an investigation due to last ‘weeks’.

However, officers did say the smash happened in a known accident black-spot along a winding stretch of road that runs between the neighborhoods of Palos Verdes and Rolling Hills Estates, 30 miles south of LA.

The accident took place around 7.15am as Woods was on his way from the five-star Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes where he was staying to the Rolling Hills Country Club where he was due to film for GolfTV.

Woods took a rented Genesis GV80 luxury SUV for the 10-mile journey, and left the resort shortly after 7am, according to a crew member of TV shown ‘Grown-ish’ which was filming at the resort where Woods was staying.

Tiger Woods was driving ten miles from a five-star resort south of Los Angeles to a golf club where he was due to tee off with Drew Brees when he lost control on a downhill stretch of highway in a ‘horror’ crash

Woods' SUV smashed into the Rolling Hills Estates sign, shattering the wooden post

Woods’ SUV smashed into the Rolling Hills Estates sign, shattering the wooden post

Part of Woods' Genesis SUV is seen being removed from the site on Tuesday afternoon following the high-speed crash

Part of Woods’ Genesis SUV is seen being removed from the site on Tuesday afternoon following the high-speed crash

Woods' vehicle ploughed through the undergrowth, smashing into a tree and demolishing the bushes as it flipped

Woods’ vehicle ploughed through the undergrowth, smashing into a tree and demolishing the bushes as it flipped

Woods' SUV was removed from the site on Tuesday afternoon, following the devastating crash in California

Woods’ SUV was removed from the site on Tuesday afternoon, following the devastating crash in California

Oliver Konteh told TMZ that Woods was in his car shortly before 7am, on his way to meet Drew Brees at the Rolling Hill Country Club at 7.30am to tee off.

But he was blocked from leaving by another car that was unloading luggage, leaving Woods ‘agitated and impatient’, Konteh said. 

Once the car had moved, Woods ‘took off fast’ and almost hit another car belonging to the director of ‘Grown-ish’ as he left the parking lot, which was shortly after 7am.

At 7.05am, a front door camera along Hawthorne Boulevard captured Woods driving along at normal speed and following a grey people-carrier, roughly five miles south of where the crash would take place minutes later.

At around 7.12am, Tiger lost control of his car on a downhill stretch of Hawthorne Boulevard which has a slight bend in it – hitting a wooden road sign mounted on a raised and turfed central reservation.

The car then crossed the reservation and ended up on the wrong side of the road facing into two lanes of oncoming traffic. It kept going, eventually hitting the curb on the far side and splintering a tree.

The car flipped over ‘multiple times’, police said, rolling off the road and into bushes before coming to rest on its side at the bottom of grassy embankment. 

A neighbor who heard the crash called police around 7.16am and Deputy Carlos Gonzalez responded, arriving on the scene at 7.18am. 

Police said the golfer was 'lucky to be alive' after he hit a raised central reservation while driving at high speed, smashed through a wooden street sign, splintered a tree, and then rolled his car several times

Police said the golfer was ‘lucky to be alive’ after he hit a raised central reservation while driving at high speed, smashed through a wooden street sign, splintered a tree, and then rolled his car several times

A straight line cut across the windscreen showed where first responders had sliced open the car to free Woods

A straight line cut across the windscreen showed where first responders had sliced open the car to free Woods

Tiger Woods is awake and recovering in hospital after being given a general anesthetic during surgery to repair his shattered right leg after crashing his SUV in southern Los Angeles on Tuesday

Tiger Woods is awake and recovering in hospital after being given a general anesthetic during surgery to repair his shattered right leg after crashing his SUV in southern Los Angeles on Tuesday

The crash happened on the border of Rolling Hills Estates and Rancho Palos Verdes in LA on Tuesday morning. Woods was on his way to the Rolling Hills Country Club when he crashed

The crash happened on the border of Rolling Hills Estates and Rancho Palos Verdes in LA on Tuesday morning. Woods was on his way to the Rolling Hills Country Club when he crashed 

Gonzalez said he found Woods ‘conscious and lucid’ inside the wrecked SUV which had its front bumper torn off, heavy damage to the engine, and heavy damage to its back-left side.

Fortunately the interior driving compartment was intact, Gonzalez said, adding that the airbag had deployed and Woods was wearing his seat belt.

However, damage to the outside of the car meant that Woods was left trapped until firefighters arrived and cut him free using a crowbar.

Gonzalez said the speed limit on the road is 45mph, which Google Street View shows was signposted at the section where Woods lost control, though he frequently clocks people going at 80mph. 

Sheriff Alex Villanueva added that Woods was travelling ‘at a greater speed than normal,’ but did not specifically say he was speeding.

Gonzalez added that Woods did not appear to be under the influence as he spoke with him, but added that the golfer was likely in shock.

Blood tests will be carried out as part of an investigation due to last ‘weeks’, Villanueva added.

Woods had been recovering from back surgery at the time of the accident, and while it was not clear if he was taking pain medication, he has taken opioids for back issues in the past.

After repeated back surgery in 2017, Woods was found slumped over the steering wheel of his car in Florida with five drugs in his system – including two pain medications.

He was charged with DUI but eventually pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of reckless driving and agreed to enter rehab for painkiller addiction. He blamed the episode on ‘suffering a reaction to prescription medications’.  



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