LOS ANGELES (WFLA/AP) – Tiger Woods was seriously injured in a crash in the LA area early Tuesday morning according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
According to officials, Woods’ SUV crashed into a median, rolled over several times and ended up on its side in suburban Los Angeles, authorities said. The golf superstar had to be pulled out through the windshield, and his agent said he was undergoing leg surgery.
Woods was alone in the SUV when it crashed into a raised median shortly before 7:15 a.m., crossed two oncoming lanes and rolled over several times, authorities said at a news conference. No other cars were involved. Woods was alert and able to communicate as firefighters pried open the front windshield to get him out.
The airbags deployed, and the inside of the car stayed basically intact and that “gave him a cushion to survive the crash,” Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said. Both of his legs were severely injured, county Fire Chief Daryl Osby.
A hand tool was used to remove the front windshield and get Woods out of the SUV, said Los Angeles County Fire Department Inspector Sean Ferguson, contradicting the sheriff’s earlier report that first responders had used the “jaws of life” to extricate the golfing legend.
Video over the scene showed the heavily damaged gray SUV on its side in a brushy area off the side of the roadway, down a slight hillside.
Officials said there was no immediate evidence that Woods was impaired. Authorities said they checked for any odor of alcohol or other signs he was under the influence of a substance and did not find any. They did not say how fast he was driving. Weather was not a factor in the crash.
Sheriff Alex Villanueva and Fire Chief Daryl Osby say Woods was conscious and able to communicate when authorities arrived to pry him from an SUV after a rollover crash Tuesday and was to a hospital in serious condition.
A statement from Woods’ agent provided to Golf Digest says:
“Tiger Woods was in a single-car accident this morning in California where he suffered multiple leg injuries. He is currently in surgery and we thank you for your privacy and support.”
The PGA Tour released a statement on Twitter, saying the organization had been made aware of the crash.
“We are awaiting further information when he comes out of surgery,” the statement read. “On behalf of the PGA Tour and our players, Tiger is in our prayers and will have our full support as he recovers.”
It’s unclear what caused the wreck, and investigators could be seen on scene hours after the crash combing Hawthorne Boulevard for evidence. A stretch of the road has been shut down to traffic amid the investigation.
Woods was in Los Angeles over the weekend as the tournament host of the Genesis Invitational at Riviera, where he presented the trophy.
He had a fifth surgery on his back, a microdiscectomy, two days before Christmas and gave no indication when he would return. The Masters is April 8-11 and when asked if he would be there during the CBS telecast, Woods replied, “God, I hope so.”
This is the third time Woods has been involved in a car investigation. The most notorious was the early morning after Thanksgiving in 2009, when his SUV ran over a fire hydrant and hit a tree.
That was the start of shocking revelations that he had been cheating on his wife with multiple women. Woods lost major corporate sponsorship, went to a rehabilitation clinic in Mississippi and did not return to golf for five months.
In May 2017, Florida police found him asleep behind the wheel of a car parked awkwardly on the side of the road. He was arrested on a DUI charge and said later he had an unexpected reaction to prescription medicine his back pain.
Woods later pleaded guilty to reckless driving and checked into a clinic to get help with prescription medication and a sleep disorder.