No evidence Tiger Woods impaired during rollover crash in Southern California, authorities say

Agent says golfer suffered 'multiple leg injuries'
Tiger Woods superimposed over 2021 California wreckage
Posted at 2:48 PM, Feb 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-23 23:24:34-05

LOS ANGELES — Authorities said golfer Tiger Woods was seriously injured after his SUV rolled over and ended up on its side after a crash.

The single-vehicle crash occurred shortly after 7 a.m. Tuesday in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, about 30 miles south of Los Angeles.

Authorities said there's no immediate evidence that Woods was impaired in the crash that seriously injured both of the golfer's legs.

At a news conference, the police chief and fire chief of Los Angeles County didn't answer follow-up questions on how they know he wasn't impaired or how fast he was driving. Weather was not a factor in the crash.

Sheriff Alex Villanueva and Fire Chief Daryl Osby said Woods was conscious and able to communicate when authorities arrived to pry him from an SUV after the wreck.

An aerial view showed the SUV resting on its side.

According to the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department, Woods was the lone occupant in the vehicle.

Previous reports said the "Jaws of Life" was used to remove him from the wreckage. However, officials said they used an ax and other equipment to remove Woods from the vehicle, a 2021 Genesis SUV.

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office holds news conference on Tiger Woods vehicle crash (19 minutes)

"Because of the situation and the way that you found the vehicle, he wasn't able to open the door and come out," Los Angeles County Fire Department spokesman Henry Narvaez told the Los Angeles Times. "We extricated him. We helped assist him out of the vehicle."

Deputy Carols Gonzalez, the first officer to respond to the incident, said Woods was unable to stand on his own after being removed from the vehicle.

Woods was taken to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center by ambulance.

"Tiger Woods was in a single-car accident this morning in California where he suffered multiple leg injuries," said his manager, Mark Steinberg. "He is currently in surgery and we thank you for your privacy and support."

The crash came a day after former Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade posted Instagram pictures and video of him golfing with Woods.

Woods, who owns a home on Jupiter Island, was arrested on a charge of driving under the influence in Jupiter in 2017, saying prescription drugs contributed to the incident. He later pleaded guilty to reckless driving and entered a first-time offender program.

The former No. 1 golfer in the world was also injured in a crash in Orlando in 2009, when his wife used a golf club to smash out the back window to help get him out.

St. Mary's Medical Center trauma surgeon Dr. Faris Azar spoke to WPTV about Woods' injuries.

"Anything aside from an aligned bone will likely require some type of surgical fixation," he said.

Azar said Woods' recovery depends on the nature of the injuries.

"Simply if the bone is broken and just needs to be realigned and allowed to heal, that's one extreme of the equation, and then you can have a completely mangled extremity on the other end of the spectrum where multiple bones are broken, blood vessels and nerves are injured," he said.

Tiger Woods at 2021 Genesis Invitational
Tiger Woods looks on during the trophy ceremony on the practice green after the final round of the Genesis Invitational golf tournament at Riviera Country Club, Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021, in the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles.

Woods was in Los Angeles over the weekend as the tournament host of the Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club.

The PGA Tour released a statement saying Woods "is in our prayers and will have our full support as he recovers."

Former President Donald Trump, who was permanently removed from Twitter last month, shared a statement through his spokesman, wishing Woods well and calling him "a true champion."

Trump is an avid golfer who has hosted Woods throughout the years at Trump's golf resorts in Palm Beach County.

Legendary golfer and North Palm Beach resident Jack Nicklaus also offered his "heartfelt support and prayers" for Woods.

Honda Classic Executive Director Ken Kennerly released the following statement on the crash:

"It is tough to see anybody get into a horrible accident like that. Like everybody inside and outside the golf world, we are waiting for more information. We know how much Tiger was looking forward to playing tournament golf again very soon. We have watched him come back from setbacks throughout his career and we are sure that will be the case this time around. We are praying for him and wish him a speedy recovery."