Everything we know so far about the Tiger Woods crash following investigation

Gino Spocchia
·5-min read
<p>Investigators recover the vehicle of Tiger Woods following 23 February crash</p> (AP)

Investigators recover the vehicle of Tiger Woods following 23 February crash

(AP)

Tiger Woods crashed in his vehicle on 23 February, causing a series of “significant injuries” that required emergency surgery, and at first threw the sportsman’s career into question.

For the the first time on Wednesday, investigators detailed their findings into the crash said excessive speed was the main cause of Mr Woods’ crash. It follows an initial suggestion that the golfer had accelerated in the SUV.

Officials said the 45-year-old, who was pictured playing at a course outside Los Angeles, California, a day before the crash, was found to have hit speeds between 84 and 87 mph before driving off the road.

The golfer, who was initially described as being “fortunate” to come out alive, faces no charges following the investigation, with Mr Woods waiving the release of the findings to the public last week.

Here’s everything we know so far about the accident, from where it happened to what happens next for Mr Woods.

When the accident happened:

On the morning of 23 February, Mr Woods had been driving through an upscale Los Angeles suburb in Rancho Palos Verdes, to the west of the city, towards the Rolling Hills Country Club.

He was due to play golf with celebrities on the Tuesday at the club, having done so on Monday, as part of a a two-day shoot with Golf Digest and GOLFTV,

Mr Woods was on hosting duties at the PGA Tour's Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club at the weekend before.

Authorities said Mr Woods crashed at about 7.15am, some 25 miles south of Rolling Hills, after hitting speeds of almost twice the speed limit of 45 mph, which caused him to lose control of the car.

Where the accident happened:

The particular section of Hawthron Boulevard is known to local residents as being a cause of crashes, in part thanks to a steep slope and bend in the road.

Mr Woods was heading northbound on Hawthorn Boulevard at Blackhorse Road when the car he was driving overturned and crashed.

He was said to have struck the central divider and a sign that said “Welcome to Rolling Hills Estates,” before careening across all southbound lanes and hitting a tree before rolling to a stop — from where emergency responders rescued him.

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“Because it is downhill, it slopes, and it also curves, that area has a high frequency of accidents,” said Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva in a news conference following the crash.

In a set of remarks in February, Mr Villanueva had suggested that Mr Woods was speeding, according to CBS Los Angeles, although there were no visible markings on the road, which was closed for a number of hours afterwards.

On Wednesday, officials confirmed that excessive speeding was the cause of the crash, which came as Mr Woods first hit a tree at 75 mph, before accelerating above 80mph and careening off the road, failing at first to break.

What he was driving:

Mr Woods crashed a 2021 Genesis GV80 SUV, according to reports, which he was driving while in California for the week.

It was a courtesy vehicle given to him by Genesis, having hosted the PGA Tour's Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club at the weekend.

The GV80 is the only SUV that is currently sold by the relatively little-known carmaker, which is owned by Korean company Hyundai.

The 2021 Genesis GV80 has a starting price of $50,000 (£35,000) and comes with a 14.5 inch horizontal touchscreen on the centre console, and 10 air bags.

Mr Villanueva, the Los Angeles County Sheriff, said the SUV’s airbags stayed mostly intact, which gave Mr Woods a “cushion to survive the crash” in comments following the crash.

Authorities from the Sheriff's department and the Los Angeles County Fire Department described a dramatic scene, with Mr Woods pinned to the driver's seat of his vehicle, still wearing a seat belt.

A pry bar and an axe were used to free Mr Woods from the SUV, who was taken to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center with several “serious injuries” and fractures, and released in the middle of March.

What happens after the investigation?:

Following an almost month’s long investigation into the incident, the release of the findings on Wednesday marks the end of the Mr Villaneuva’s role in the crash.

Officials said last month that Mr Wood’s had been approached about the findings of the investigation, and that the golfer was asked to waive privacy issues so there could be a full release of the report.

On Wednesday, Mr Woods — has been recovering at home in Florida — said he was informed by the Los Angeles County sheriff’s office that the investigation into the crash was closed.

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He also thanked those the paramedics and first responders “for helping me so expertly at the scene and getting me safely to the hospital”.

He concluded: “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.”

Will he return to playing?

Professional golfers told CNBC’s golf channel in February they were confident Mr Woods would eventually return to playing.

Golfer Bryson DeChambeau told reporters: “I will say that, whatever’s happened, he’s always come back from it in a pretty amazing way. He’s an amazing human being that has done incredible things.

“I have no doubt in my mind he’ll be back. It might take him a little longer, I’m sure, but from my perspective, he’s one of the most impressive human beings I’ve ever met and I think that he’ll come back just fine.”

Friend and fellow golfer Rory McIlroy told the New York Times this week that he has visited Mr Woods at his home, and that Mr Woods was in "decent spirits” and "fully focused on the recovery process”.

The release of the investigation’s findings on Wednesday comes as the 2021 Masters tournament gets underway in Georgia.

Asked about recovering from recent back surgery in time to play the Masters, Mr Woods said in the days before the accident, “God, I hope so. I’ve got to get there first.”

Additional reporting by the Associated Press.

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