LOS ANGELES – American golfing great Tiger Woods was driving at nearly double the speed limit when he crashed his SUV on the morning of Feb. 23 in the Southern California city of Rancho Palos Verdes, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said on Wednesday.
Woods’ 2021 Genesis GV 80 was traveling between 84 and 87 miles an hour (135-140 kilometers per hour) on a downhill stretch of road outside Los Angeles where the speed limit was just 45 mph, LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said at a press conference in which he revealed the results of his department’s investigation into the crash.
That excessive, unsafe speed and his inability to “negotiate the curve of the roadway” was the main cause of the accident that left Woods seriously injured, according to Villanueva, who said there were no signs of intoxication and that no criminal charges will be filed.
The winner of 15 major championships, second-most all-time after countryman Jack Nicklaus’ 18, suffered tibia and fibula fractures in his lower right leg, as well as foot and ankle injuries, and was hospitalized for several days at Los Angeles’ Harbor UCLA Medical Center.
The severity of Woods’ injuries has led some experts to question whether the 45-year-old will be able to play professional golf again, while the American great has not yet commented publicly about an eventual return to the links.
The investigation found that Woods accelerated downhill as opposed to slowing down on that stretch of road and that he jumped the median and crossed through two oncoming lanes before hitting a tree.
His vehicle rolled several times before eventually coming to a stop.
Woods was in the area for the annual Genesis Invitational golf tournament at the Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, a neighborhood of Los Angeles.
Besides winning five Masters, four PGA Championships, three US Opens and three British Opens, Woods also holds the record for most total weeks in the No. 1 spot in the world rankings (683), most recently from March 2013 to May 2014.
A native of Cypress, California, he is tied for first (with American Sam Snead) for most all-time PGA Tour wins (82).