Woods, 45, was conscious and alert when emergency responders pulled him from his vehicle, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said.
Traffic investigators could take days or weeks to determine cause of the crash as they investigate whether speed, fatigue or operator error were factors, or whether Woods struck something in the road, causing him to lose control, Lt. Michael White with the LA County Sheriff’s Office told CNN affiliate KCAL/KCBS.
Woods was driving shortly after 7 a.m. PT in Rancho Palos Verdes when the SUV he was using crossed a median and went across two lanes of road before hitting a curb, hitting a tree and landing on its side off the roadway in the brush. No other vehicles were involved.
Woods needed to be extricated from his vehicle by a rescue crew using a pry bar and ax, according to LA County Fire Chief Daryl Osby.
Woods was driving downhill on a winding road, in an area known as a trouble spot for speeding and accidents, Villanueva and Sheriff’s Deputy Carlos Gonzalez said.
Weather was not a factor in the accident, officials said in a Tuesday news conference. There was no evidence of impairment, but the crash is under investigation, officials said.
Asked at the news conference whether Woods may have been on the phone at the time, Villanueva said investigators will have to ascertain whether distracted driving played a role.
What’s the status of his injuries?
Woods was taken by ambulance to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in serious condition with non-life-threatening injuries, according to the LA County Fire Department.
Woods suffered compound fractures in his legs, a source told CNN. Osby said Woods’ legs were splinted on the scene.
A compound fracture “is an open fracture, and the bone actually protrudes from the skin, something that would have been noticeable at the time of the injury and … something that obviously needs to be treated very quickly,” CNN Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta said.
“He was able to communicate, and he was conscious,” Villanueva said.
Gonzalez, the first responder at the scene, said he kept Woods talking until the fire crews arrived.
Woods had to undergo surgery following the accident, according to Golf Digest, which quoted a statement from Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg.
What type of car was Woods driving?
Woods was driving a 2021 Genesis SUV. The front end of the vehicle was destroyed and the airbags were deployed, Villanueva said. Woods was wearing a seat belt, Gonzalez said.
“Thankfully the interior was more or less intact, which kind of gave him the cushion to survive what otherwise would have been a fatal crash,” Villanueva said.
The Genesis was provided to Woods as a courtesy car by the sponsor of the golf tournament he hosted over the weekend.
Woods didn’t play because of a recent back surgery.
Mark Del Rosso, president and CEO of Genesis Motor North America, said Tuesday that he was “heartbroken” to hear of the accident.
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