Tiger Woods drove nearly twice the speed limit in crash, but not impaired, L.A. officials say

Tiger Woods was speeding, driving at least 84 mph in a forty five mph zone, when he crashed in Southern California earlier this year, authorities stated Wednesday.

Woods’ automobile was touring between 84 mph and 87 mph on Feb. 23 when the Genesis GV80 SUV crashed in Rolling Hills Estates, a scenic, rich suburban area of southern Los Angeles County, Sheriff Alex Villanueva informed reporters in downtown Los Angeles.

“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 stated.

Woods, 45, was nonetheless going 75 mph when he hit the tree, sending his SUV into the air, officials stated.

“The impact of the vehicle when it hit the tree caused the vehicle to go airborne and do somewhat (of a) pirouette landing on its side,” sheriff’s Capt. James Powers stated.

Officials say they discovered no indicators of impairment and no costs will probably be filed in opposition to the golf nice.

The sheriff’s division did not ahead a case for doable prosecution to L.A. County prosecutors and Sheriff Villanueva got here below some criticism for therefore rapidly labeling the crash “purely an accident.”

Investigators have additionally come below scrutiny for failing to get a search warrant for Woods’ blood samples, which may have detected any proof of medicine, alcohol and doable impairment.

The famed golfer checked himself right into a clinic in 2017 for assist in coping with prescription treatment use after he was charged with DUI in Florida.

Villanueva insisted his deputies would have been laughed out of courtroom in the event that they sought a search warrant with out extra proof.

“To get probable cause you need to have building blocks of elements to indicate that someone potentially committed a crime, and that’s higher than just a reasonable suspicion,” he stated.

“You cannot approach a judge for a search warrant just because, ‘Well we knew they had trouble in the past or something, therefore can you sign this?’ And the judge is going to say, ‘Get out of here.’”

L.A. County Sheriff’s detectives did get a search warrant for the data recorder, or black field, for Woods’ totaled SUV in the February accident.

And that information confirmed Woods by no means hit the brakes earlier than crashing, officials stated. That reality, mixed with Woods’ obvious lack of memory of how he crashed, led investigators to imagine he meant to pump brakes but inadvertently gunned the accelerator.

“When you panic or you have some sort of a sudden interruption while you’re driving, your initial thought is to hit the brake,” Powers said. “And it’s believed that he may have done that, but hit the accelerator and didn’t hit the brake.”

Woods was not charged with a criminal offense and even cited with a automobile code quotation, Villanueva stated, as a result of nobody else was injured and there have been no witnesses to the driver’s rushing.

“A lot of courts will dismiss it because it wasn’t observed by a peace officer,” Powers stated.

Ordinarily, particulars of a automobile crash can be sealed and solely accessible to the events concerned, officials stated. But Woods agreed to allow findings to be made public, the sheriff stated.

Woods thanked the deputies, firefighters, paramedics and good Samaritans who helped him on Feb. 23.

“I will continue to focus on my recovery and family, and thank everyone for the overwhelming support and encouragement I’ve received throughout this very difficult time,” Woods said in a statement on Wednesday.

The golfer is resting at home in Florida, recovering from his severe leg accidents and a number of surgical procedures.

February’s wreck was the second most well-known automobile accident in Woods’ driving profession. He famously crashed exterior his Florida home on Thanksgiving night 2009, in an accident that inadvertently shed light on multiple extramarital affairs and ended his marriage to Elin Nordegren.

Woods has received 82 tournaments, tied for the most in a profession with Sam Snead, in one in all golf’s biggest careers.

But February’s crash raised extra doubts about Woods’ future and his possibilities of breaking one in all golf’s most hallowed data: The 18 major tournament championships won by Jack Nicklaus.

When a 32-year-old Woods captured the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines, his 14th main title, Nicklaus’ mark appeared to be nicely inside attain.

But Woods has been slowed by age and accidents, resulting in only one extra main, his much-celebrated victory at the 2019 Masters.

The first round of the Masters, with out Woods, tees off Thursday at Augusta National in Georgia.

Andrew Blankstein contributed.

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