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Tiger Woods crash: Golfer sustained serious leg injury after high-speed car crash in California, but was calm and clear-headed, authorities said

Woods, 45, was driving shortly after 7 a.m. PT in Rancho Palos Verdes, near Los Angeles, when the SUV he was using crossed a median and crossed two lanes of road before colliding with a sidewalk , hit a tree and land sideways. the roadway in the brush.

A Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy, the first to arrive, said he found Woods still in the driver’s seat, wearing his seatbelt, and the golfer was able to tell him his name was Tiger.

The 15-time major champion was clear-headed and calm, but potentially in shock, and didn’t appear to be concerned about his injuries at the time, MP Carlos Gonzalez said.

Los Angeles County Fire Chief Daryl Osby told CNN’s John Berman that Woods was alert and oriented and was trying to “self-release” but was stuck.

Firefighters used a lever and ax to free the golfer, who hosted a PGA Tour event in the area last weekend but was not playing due to recent back surgery.

They smashed the windshield with the ax and used the bar to lift the seats and the metal around Woods’ legs, Osby said.

They put Woods in a neck collar, attached leg braces, and used a back panel to pull him through the giant hole in the windshield to an ambulance. He went to hospital in serious but stable condition with injuries to both legs, Osby said.

Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg said the golfer was in surgery with multiple injuries, according to Golf Digest.

How the accident happened

The crash, which destroyed the front of the Genesis SUV courtesy vehicle, could have been fatal, but the airbags and seat belts helped Woods survive, Gonzalez and Sheriff Alex Villanueva said.

The sheriff said he believed Woods was driving at high speed on a hilly part of the road when the crash happened.

There were no skid marks or other indications of braking, Villanueva added.

Villanueva said the section of the road is “downhill on a curve”, and he and Gonzalez said the area is known as a problem point for speeding and crashes.

MPs who responded to Woods saw no evidence of disability, Villanueva said, and they did not ask hospital officials to take a blood test, he said.

A Los Angeles police source told CNN that no field sobriety test had been administered due to the severity of Woods’ injuries.

A tweet from the Sheriff’s Department said earlier that rescuers were using the Jaws of Life to pull Woods out of the vehicle, but Osby said the firefighters actually used a pry tool and an ax to remove the windshield and free Woods.

Tiger Woods crash: Golfer sustained serious leg injury after high-speed car crash in California, but was calm and clear-headed, authorities said

Woods was taken to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, a trauma center. CNN contacted the hospital for his condition.

The the sheriff’s department said Woods was the sole occupant of the car.

Another car, not involved in the initial rollover incident, pulled over after the crash and was in the back, according to Henry Narvaez, Los Angeles County PIO.

The days before the crash

According to Daniel Rapaport, Tiger Woods correspondent for Golf Digest, Woods was probably heading to the Rolling Hills Country Club near Rolling HIlls Estates for a shoot with Golf Digest and Golf TV.

Woods had a call time at 7:30 a.m., with filming scheduled to begin around 8 a.m. It was the second day of filming.

Rapaport told CNN’s “Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer” that Woods didn’t play or hit, but gave acting lessons to celebrities.

“He was in a good mood Monday when he did that,” Rapaport said of the shoot.

Woods had hosted the Genesis Invitational over the weekend and was seen intermittently on Saturday and more often in Sunday’s final round.

Woods was in class on Monday with NBA legend Dwyane Wade, actress Jada Pinkett Smith and actor David Spade.

“The reason I picked a golf club. Yesterday was a pretty cool day! Thanks @tigerwoods @golfdigest for this dope opportunity!” Wade wrote on Instagram on Tuesday.

Smith posted photos of her and Woods to the links on Twitter.

“Guess who I had the best day of golf with yesterdayyyyyy ??? Yes! The gorgeous @TigerWoods !!!! Yes … dreams come true. I can’t wait for you to see my golf course with Tiger . Stay tuned! ”She wrote.

Spade joked about Woods’ ability as an instructor.

“Golf lessons with this guy today. And you know what? He’s not bad … He takes things really fast. Good listener,” he tweeted with a photo of himself and of a smiling Woods.

Recent injuries

Woods, who has won a record 82 PGA Tour events, announced earlier this year that he had recently undergone return surgery, the fifth of his professional career.

Woods told CBS sports reporter Jim Nantz in a video posted to the PGA Tour Twitter feed on Sunday that he “felt good” but a “little stiff” after his last procedure. He said he needed to have another MRI.

Woods had previously had back surgery – a spinal fusion – in 2017 and made his comeback almost a year later. He then kicked off a remarkable comeback, winning the Masters in 2019.

Any progress over the past year has been hampered by yet another back injury and the pandemic, which has severely disrupted the golf schedule.

“We have been made aware of Tiger Woods’ car accident today. We await further information when he comes out of surgery. On behalf of the PGA TOUR and our players, Tiger is in our prayers and will have our full support while he recovers, ”said Jay Monahan, PGA Tour Commissioner

Tiger Woods crash: Golfer sustained serious leg injury after high-speed car crash in California, but was calm and clear-headed, authorities said

Woods last played competitive golf at the rescheduled Masters in November. He also played golf in a father-son event called the PNC Challenge in December in Florida.

Woods was the host of this weekend’s PGA Tour event, the Genesis Invitational at the Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, and a portion of the proceeds went to his foundation.

World No.3 golfer and friend Justin Thomas got emotional talking about Woods ahead of the Workday Championship at The Concession in Bradenton, Florida.

“My stomach hurts,” he told PGA Tour Entertainment. “You know, it hurts to see one of your – now one of my closest friends have an accident. Dude, I just hope he’s okay. Just worry about his kids, you know. I’m sure they’re struggling. “

Jack Nicklaus, whose 18-major title record Woods is chasing, tweeted his best wishes.

“Barbara and I just learned of Tiger’s accident, and like everyone else, we are deeply concerned,” he wrote. “We want to offer him our sincere support and prayers during this difficult time. Please join us in wishing Tiger successful surgery and the best for a full recovery.”

Corrections: This story has been updated with the correct status of Woods’ vehicle as well as the correct spelling of the Los Angeles County spokesperson’s last name. Additionally, the LA County Sheriff’s Department initially said Woods was cut from his vehicle using the Jaws of Life. He has since said that was not the case. This story has been updated to reflect this.

CNN’s Stella Chan and Cheri Mossburg reported from Los Angeles and Steve Almasy reported and wrote from Atlanta. CNN’s Paul Vercammen, Andy Rose, David Close, Kevin Dotson and Dan Moriarty contributed to this report.

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