Tiger Woods was accelerating, driving at least 84 mph in a 45 mph zone, when it crashed in Southern California earlier this year, authorities said on Wednesday.
His car was going between 84 and 87 mph on February 23 when he crashed his Genesis GV80 SUV in Rolling Hills Estates, a picturesque and affluent suburban area of southern Los Angeles County, Sheriff Alex Villanueva told reporters in downtown Los Angeles.
“The main causative factor for this road collision was driving at a speed unsafe for the road conditions and the inability to negotiate the curve of the roadway,” Villanueva said.
Woods, 45, was still driving at 75 km / h when he hit the tree, sending his SUV into the air, officials said.
“The impact of the vehicle when it hit the tree caused the vehicle to fly and do a bit of (a) spin landing on the side,” said Sheriff’s Captain James Powers.
Officials say they have found no signs of a disability and no charges will be filed against the golf course.
Woods told MPs at the scene that he did not recall getting behind the wheel, according to records.
The Sheriff’s Department did not forward a case for possible prosecution to LA County prosecutors and Sheriff Villanueva was criticized for so quickly calling the crash “pure accident.”
Investigators also came under scrutiny for failing to obtain a search warrant for Woods’ blood samples, which could have uncovered evidence of drugs, alcohol and impaired driving.
The famous golfer enrolled in a clinic in 2017 for help coping with prescription drug use after being charged with DUI in Florida.
Villanueva insisted his deputies would have been amicably ridiculed if they had applied for a search warrant without further evidence.
“To get probable cause, you have to have some building blocks to indicate that someone has potentially committed a crime, and that’s more than just reasonable suspicion,” he said.
“You can’t approach a judge for a search warrant just because, ‘Well, we knew they had some trouble in the past or something, so can you sign this?’ And the judge is going to say, ‘Get out of here.’ “
LA County Sheriff’s detectives obtained a search warrant for the data logger, or black box, for Woods’ total SUV in the February crash.
The February wreck was the second best-known car crash of Woods’ driving career. He crashed outside his Florida home on Thanksgiving night 2009, in an accident that inadvertently lit up several extramarital affairs and ended his marriage to Elin Nordegren.
Woods has won 82 tournaments, tied for most in a career with Sam Snead, in one of golf’s greatest careers.
But the February crash raised more doubts about Woods’ future and his chances of breaking one of golf’s most sacred records: the 18 major tournament championships won by Jack Nicklaus.
When a 32-year-old Woods won the 2008 US Open at Torrey Pines, his 14th major title, Nicklaus’ mark seemed to be within reach.
But Woods was slowed down by age and injuries, which only led to another major win, his very famous 2019 Masters win.
The first round of the Masters, without Woods, kicks off Thursday at Augusta National in Georgia.
This is a developing story, please update here for updates