Pro golfer Tiger Woods reportedly told Los Angeles sheriff’s deputies after his Feb. 23 car crash that he did not know how the crash happened — and did not even remember driving.
When law enforcement authorities first found Woods after the crash, the golfer was unconscious and trapped in a 2021 Genesis SUV, USA Today reported on Wednesday, citing a police affidavit. Officers used tools to get Woods out of the vehicle.
“The deputies asked him how the collision occurred,” the affidavit read. “Driver said he did not know and did not even remember driving… Driver was treated for his injuries at the hospital and was asked there again how the collision occurred. He repeated that he did not know and did not remember driving.”
The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department on Tuesday reportedly executed a search warrant to retrieve the electronic “black box” from the car Woods was driving “to determine if a crime was committed.”
The legendary golfer lost control of his vehicle while in southern California, crossing the median and two lanes of oncoming traffic and winding up in a ravine. Woods suffered severe injuries, including a compound fracture to one leg and a shattered ankle.
“We’re trying to determine if a crime was committed,” Los Angeles Sheriff’s Deputy John Schloegl told USA Today. “If somebody is involved in a traffic collision, we’ve got to reconstruct the traffic collision. If there was any reckless driving, if somebody was on their cell phone or something like that. If there was no crime, we close out the case, and it was a regular traffic collision.”
Schloegl’s statement differs from that of Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva, who said last week that the single-car crash was “purely an accident.” And authorities have already said that Woods will not be charged with reckless driving.
“A reckless driving charge has a lot of elements into it and this is purely an accident,” Villanueva said. “There will be a cause of it and there will be a vehicle code attached to the cause – for inattentive driving or whatever the case may be.”
“But that’s an infraction and a reckless driving is actually more than an infraction. That’s a misdemeanor crime that has a lot of elements attached to it and there’s nothing like that.”
Shortly after the accident, Villanueva said that no data was recorded from the vehicle’s black box that could show how fast Woods was going at the time of the crash.
The sheriff’s department issued a statement to USA Today to clarify the conflicting information provided by Villanueva and Schloegl. “The Sheriff spoke about the information known at that time, and said it appeared to be a traffic accident,” the statement said. “However, the traffic collision investigation is (on)going and traffic investigators have not made any conclusions as to the cause of the collision.”
The sheriff’s department has ruled out intoxication as a cause of the crash, and Villanueva said on the day of the accident that there “was no evidence of impairment.”
Schloegl told USA Today that law enforcement did not seek a warrant to examine blood that might have been collected from Woods at the hospital.
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