‘He’s lucky to be alive’: First cop to help golfer after he crashed speeding SUV reveals he didn’t realize extent of his injuries due to shock and said ‘my name is Tiger’ as he remains in hospital with broken legs and ankle
- Woods, 45, is at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center undergoing surgery for ‘multiple leg injuries’
- The golfer crashed the Genesis GV80 he’d been given for the week at 7.12am on Tuesday morning
- The car rolled multiple times and Woods had to be pried from wreckage by firefighters using a halligan tool
- He was conscious and there was ‘no evidence of impairment,’ said Sheriff Alex Villanueva
- Villanueva said that they did not take any blood or do other tests; those will be carried out later
- The golfer lives in Florida but was in L.A. to host the PGA Genesis Invitational over the weekend
- Genesis loaned him the car to use while he was in Los Angeles, sources tell DailyMail.com
- After the tournament, Woods stayed in California to film with stars Jada Pinkett Smith, David Spade and Dwyane Wade for GolfTV
- The stars shared photos and videos of their golf lessons with the sporting star on social media on Monday
- Woods was arrested in 2017 after crashing his car in Jupiter, Florida, while drunk
- The cause of Tuesday’s crash is not yet known but LA Sheriff’s Department detectives are investigating
- Woods recently underwent his fifth back surgery and has not been playing competitively while he recovers
Tiger Woods is ‘very fortunate to be alive’ after a high-speed car crash on Tuesday morning at a notoriously accident-prone spot south of Los Angeles, which saw his SUV cross the central reservation and flip over several times.
Tiger Woods is shown on Sunday at the Genesis Invitational golf tournament. He is now in surgery
Deputy Carlos Gonzalez, the first person on the scene, said that he found Woods, 45, conscious in the drivers’ seat of his Genesis GV80 shortly after 7am.
A neighbor who heard the crash called 911, and on arrival Gonzalez immediately realized that the golfer was too severely injured for him to move alone. Woods was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash.
Gonzalez said he talked to Woods, to keep him calm until he could be cut from his vehicle, which was badly damaged from the impact – although the protective interior was intact.
‘When I arrived on the scene Mr Woods was in the drivers seat,’ Gonzalez said on Tuesday afternoon.
‘He was able to speak to me. He seemed calm and lucid. I kept Mr Woods calm until LA County fire department arrived on the scene.
‘He told me his name was Tiger, and at that point I immediately recognized him. He seemed lucid and calm.
‘He didn’t seem concerned about his injuries, which is common in car accidents. They may be in shock, and pain not felt until later.’
Gonzalez said Woods did not seem obviously intoxicated, but the sheriffs do not take blood tests. His physical state at the time of the crash will be determined at a later date, following blood tests.
Gonzalez added: ‘He was injured. And he was successfully removed and taken to the hospital.’
Gonzalez reiterated that the particular stretch of road was ‘a hot spot for traffic collisions and speed’.
He emphasized the severity of the accident, and said that Woods was saved by his well-built, modern vehicle.
‘The interior passenger compartment was intact,’ he said. ‘The airbags deployed successfully.
‘I think this speaks to the marvel of modern engineering.’
Woods was undergoing surgery on Tuesday for non life- threatening injuries including a compound fracture and a shattered ankle.
The accident happened en route to a Los Angeles golf course, to film for GolfTV.
Woods, who lives in Florida, was driving alone near Rancho Palos Verdes when his Genesis GV80 crossed the central reservation and flipped over at 7.12am.
Sheriff Alex Villanueva said the vehicle ‘rolled several hundred feet’.
‘He was alive, he was conscious,’ said Villanueva, adding: ‘He was not able to get up. That was not an option.’
‘There was no evidence of impairment. There was no effort to draw blood or anything like that.’
Villanueva said he was traveling at ‘a greater speed than normal,’ but noted: ‘that area has a high frequency of accidents.’
He said the weather was not a factor.
He hit signs and ‘sheared’ a tree, Villanueva said.
‘No skidmarks, no braking. Hit the curb, hit a tree, and there were several roll overs,’ he said.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva held a press conference on Tuesday afternoon following Woods’ accident
The wreckage of Woods’ SUV is seen on Tuesday afternoon in the Rancho Palos Verdes area of California
Police markings on the road suggest that Woods crossed the central reservation from before crashing in the greenery
Part of Woods’ Genesis SUV is seen being removed from the site on Tuesday afternoon following the high-speed crash
A second accident happened, when people slowed down to look. No one was injured in that second crash.
Firefighters used a halligan tool to extricate Woods, freeing him from the car via the window.
They did not, contrary to their initial statement, use the ‘jaws of life’ to break open the car.
Officials said that Woods was taken to ‘the most appropriate’ trauma center, rather than the closest one – saying this was a sign that he was not at immediate risk of losing his life.
‘The fact that he was stable enough to be taken to a hospital further away, which was the most appropriate one, shows he was not so severe that he needed to be taken to the nearest hospital,’ said Daryl Osby, the Los Angeles County fire chief.
Daryl Osby, the Los Angeles County Fire Chief, said that Woods was in a serious condition and taken to a trauma hospital
Woods’ Genesis SUV is seen being removed from the crash site on Tuesday
The badly-damaged vehicle, with its airbags inflated, was winched away on Tuesday afternoon
He was taken to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, where he is now undergoing surgery to correct ‘multiple injuries’ on his legs, his agent Mark Steinberg said in a statement shortly after the crash.
‘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,’ Steinberg said.
Sources close to the golfer told DailyMail.com his injuries include a compound fracture and shattered ankle in one leg. He is undergoing surgery to put the pieces of his ankle back together, the source added.
Woods was on his way to the Rolling Hills Country Club for a second day of filming with GolfTV when he crashed.
On Monday, he filmed with Jada Pinkett Smith, Dwyane Wade and David Spade for a series which involves him giving celebrities golfing lessons.
On Tuesday he was scheduled to film with NFL stars Drew Brees, quarterback with the New Orleans Saints, and Justin Herbert, quarterback with the Los Angeles Chargers, ESPN reported.
He lives in Florida but was in California over the weekend to host the PGA Genesis Invitational tournament. Genesis gave him a GV80 to drive for the week which is the vehicle he crashed on Tuesday morning.
What caused him to crash remains unknown. He was arrested in 2017 after crashing his car while drunk near his home in Jupiter, Florida.
Sources cited by TMZ say alcohol was not a factor in Tuesday’s crash but it is still under investigation, and that he was seen speeding away from a hotel moments before the crash.
It’s not clear which hotel he was staying at, but it was where a the crew of Grown-ish were staying. The show’s director – who wasn’t named but was quoted by TMZ – said Woods nearly hit his car on his way out.
He seemed ‘agitated and impatient’ because he was held back from leaving, another source said.
Woods recently underwent his fifth back surgery and has not been playing competitively while he recovers.
His live-in girlfriend Erica Herman is understood to be at the hospital where he is undergoing surgery.
The wreckage of Woods’ car on Tuesday after the crash shortly at 7am. He had to be pulled from the wreckage
Firefighters used what they call jaws of life to rip open Woods’ car and rescue him on Tuesday morning
A close-up shows blood on the airbag in the drivers seat after Tiger was pulled
This is how far the golfer’s car was from the road. The cause of the crash is unclear
Sources told DailyMail.com he was driving a Genesis GV80 which had been lent to him by the car company while he was in California to host the PGA Tour’s Genesis Invitational over the weekend
On Monday, Woods filmed with David Spade and Jada Pinkett Smith for GolfTV. He was staying in L.A. for a two-day shoot after hosting the PGA tournament over the weekend
Dwyane Wade was also on the golf course with him on Monday afternoon (left). Woods was driving a Genesis GV80 that he’d been lent for the week
Pinkett Smith uploaded photos of her on the golf course with him on Instagram, writing: ‘Guess who I had the most awesome golf day with yesterdayyyyyy??? Yes! The magnificent @tigerwoods!!!!
‘Yes … dreams come true✨I can’t wait for you to see my golf journey with Tiger. Stay tuned! @golftv @golfdigest’
David Spade also tweeted a photo with him.
‘Golf lesson with this guy today. And you know what? He’s not bad… He picks things up very quickly. Good listener,’ he captioned it.
Wayde uploaded a video of the pair where Woods was in high spirits.
They joked around about Wayde’s ability. Woods laughed: ‘We’re getting better!’
Images taken at the scene show police markings traversing the road and going over the central reservation which suggests that is the path Woods took.
In a statement, the sheriff’s department said: ‘On February 23, at approximately 7.12am, LASD responded to a single vehicle roll-over traffic collision on the border of Rolling Hills Estates and Rancho Palos Verdes.
‘The vehicle was traveling northbound on Hawthorne Boulevard, at Blackhorse Road, when it crashed.
‘The vehicle sustained major damage. The driver and sole occupant was identified as PGA golfer Eldrick ‘Tiger’ Woods.
‘Mr. Woods was extricated from the wreck with the jaws of life by LA County firefighters and paramedics, then transported to a local hospital by ambulance for his injuries.’
The vehicle driven by golfer Tiger Woods lies on its side in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, on Tuesday, after the accident
The crash happened on the border of Rolling Hills Estates and Rancho Palos Verdes in LA on Tuesday morning. Woods was on his way to the Rolling Hills Country Club when he crashed
Woods has two kids with his ex-wife, Elin Nordegren. He is pictured with his 12-year-old son Charlie, left. Elin and his 13-year-old daughter, Sam, are shown, right, with his current girlfriend Erica Herman watching him at the PNC Championship in December 2020
Woods was driving to Rolling Hills Country Club in Rolling Hills Estates to film for a second day for GolfTV when he crashed
LINDSEY VONN LEADS PRAYERS FOR HER EX-BOYFRIEND TIGER
Woods lives with his girlfriend, Erica Herman, in his mansion in Jupiter, Florida.
His agent recently hit out at an HBO documentary about him that he said was ‘salacious’ and ‘just another unauthorized and salacious outsider attempt to paint an incomplete portrait of one of the greatest athletes of all-time’.
The documentary focuses on his childhood and his relationship with his father Earl, and also includes interviews with kindergarten teachers and former girlfriends.
Woods does not appear and he has always been shy of sharing details of his personal life.
He has two kids with his ex-wife Elin Nordegren – a daughter, Sam, 13, and son Charlie, 12.
Woods and Nordegren divorced in 2010 after his infidelity with multiple women was exposed.
The sporting world reacted with shock on Tuesday as news of the accident spread.
Justin Thomas, one of Woods’ friends and former World Number One, said: ‘I’m sick to my stomach. It hurts to see one of my closest friends get in an accident. I just hope he’s all right.
‘Just worried for his kids.. I’m sure they’ll struggle.’
PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan said in a statement: ‘We have been made aware of Tiger Woods’ car accident today.
‘We are awaiting 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 as he recovers.’
Former President Donald Trump released a statement through his spokesperson to wish him well.
‘Get well soon, Tiger. You are a true champion!’ he said.
Trump is still banned from Twitter.
He later appeared on Fox News, on Tuesday evening, and called him ‘a very special guy in many ways’.
Trump and Woods have played golf together several times, and the former president was effusive in his praise.
‘He’s a very respected person, so respected by the other players,’ said Trump.
‘They idolize him.
‘He’s going to be back – he’s been back before, he’ll be back again.
‘He knows how to do it and I have no doubt.
‘He’ll be back. He will be there, you watch.’
Donald Trump called in to Fox News on Tuesday night to wish Woods well
Asked what he would say to Woods, Trump said he’d tell him that he was needed.
‘I’d say get better, and get out there, because we all need him,’ he said.
‘When he’s on a show, the ratings are double and triple. Few people have that phenomena.
‘Ratings go up two or three times from when he wasn’t competing. The television ratings for golf go through the roof.’
He said there was ‘something very unique about Tiger.’
Rachel Uchitel, Woods’ former mistress who was the first to go public with allegations of infidelity in 2009, told The New York Post she was ‘shaken up’ by the crash.
‘Obviously hearing the news has shaken me up as it’s probably shaken everybody up to see that.
‘Hearing [agent Mark Steinberg] say that he’s in surgery for his legs is something that really worries me and when you hear a comment like that you know it’s true.
‘He’s an athlete and his legs are essential to his sport and to him being who he is and he’s already had trouble with his body up until this point…
‘He didn’t need any more injuries,’ she said.
Tiger’s troubled life: Sporting icon’s meteoric rise to fame, spectacular fall from grace and epic comeback after years of injury problems, infidelity, arrests and drug use
A car crash that seriously injured Tiger Woods Tuesday marked the latest chapter in 15-time major winner’s turbulent life following his meteoric rise to worldwide fame, spectacular fall from grace and epic 2019 comeback.
The golf superstar, 45, had to be cut free by fire crews after his vehicle rolled over and suffered ‘major damage’. He is now undergoing surgery.
That came after he was chased out of his house by then wife Elin Nordegren over his numerous affairs and eventually led to admissions of infidelity and drug use.
He was arrested for a DUI with five different kinds of drugs in his system in 2017 leading to Woods taking an ‘indefinite break’ from golf before his stunning comeback at the 2019 Masters.
That journey to redemption had been an arduous one for Woods.
Now, just months after a new HBO documentary heard from his mistress Rachel Uchitel for the first time, Woods is back in the headlines after crashing while driving alone near Rancho Palos Verdes when his Genesis GV80 flipped over at 7.12am.
Uchitel said she was ‘shaken up’ after news of the crash first broke, telling The New York Post: ‘Obviously hearing the news has shaken me up as it’s probably shaken everybody up to see that.
‘Hearing [agent Mark Steinberg] say that he’s in surgery for his legs is something that really worries me and when you hear a comment like that you know it’s true.’
News of a serious car crash that left Tiger Woods with ‘multiple leg injuries’ Tuesday marked the latest chapter in 15-time major winner’s turbulent life. Pictured: Masters champion Tiger Woods poses with his Masters trophy in 1997, left, and in 2019, right
The world’s first billionaire golfer – who Nike built their entire golf business on – Woods was once the most famous sportsman in the entire world. A mixed-race man from modest beginnings had taken on the rich, privileged and very white world of golf and beaten it into submission.
Playing his first major as a professional and paired with defending champion Nick Faldo in the 1997 Masters, Woods set a tournament record of 18 under par and win by 12 shots from Tom Kite.
Two months later Woods became world number one for the first time and went on to spend a record 683 weeks at the top of the rankings, including a record 281 in succession.
Woods almost ran out of balls during his delayed second round of the 2000 US Open at Pebble Beach after practicing his putting the night before and leaving three balls in his hotel room.
Thankfully he found the 18th fairway at the second attempt with his last remaining ball and stormed to a record 15-shot victory.
A month later he carded four rounds in the 60s to win the Open Championship at St Andrews by eight shots and become the youngest player to complete a career grand slam.
In August of that year Woods successfully defended his US PGA Championship title following a play-off with Bob May at Valhalla and the following April a second Masters victory made him the only player to hold all four major titles at the same time.
In 2000 he became the youngest player to complete a career grand slam and the only player to hold all four major titles at the same time.
But his success did not come without its own troubles.
Woods had enjoyed a meteoric rise to stardom but his fall from grace was equally spectacular.
The biggest influence on Woods’ career was undoubtedly his father Earl Woods, a retired US Army lieutenant colonel who named his son Eldrick but gave him the nickname Tiger after a Vietnamese soldier he had befriended during the war.
Sources close to the star say the death of Earl in 2006 was a turning point for the star.
After a nine-week lay-off, Woods returned to action in the US Open and unsurprisingly missed the cut in a major for the first time as a professional.
Away from the golf course, Woods began making regular trips to Las Vegas where he indulged a side of him that the public never did.
Golfer Tiger Woods poses for a photograph with his mother and father Earl and Kultida Woods on September 22, 1990
Tiger Woods and his wife Elin look on during the Opening Ceremony of the 2006 Ryder Cup
Tiffany Masters, a former VIP host in Vegas said they would ‘spoil’ Woods and told him: ‘You’re like a prince and free to do whatever you want.’
In Vegas, Woods would party with basketball legends Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley who would be surrounded by beautiful women who wanted to hang out with them.
Woods was wide-eyed and clueless in the beginning and asked Jordan what to say if one of the women approached him.
A recent two-part HBO documentary about Woods’ life, called Tiger, claims Woods used to order up to 10 prostitutes at a time during wild parties in Las Vegas which cost $100,000 or more for the weekend.
A former escort who took part said Woods was into role playing and treated hookers like ‘little puppets.’
A close family friend said Woods learned his philandering ways from watching his father have sex with blondes in a Winnebago RV that he parked next to golf courses when they practiced in his childhood.
Tiger’s mistress Uchitel opened up in her first TV interview for the HBO documentary. Their affair became public after Woods summoned her to the Australian Masters in 2009.
Now, just months after a new HBO documentary heard from his mistress Rachel Uchitel for the first time, Woods is back in the headlines
Uchitel recalled how Woods connected her with his wife Elin Nordegren in November 2009. Over the course of a 30-minute phone call, Uchitel sought to convince Nordegren that she was not having an affair with Woods. Pictured: Woods and Nordegren in October 2009
The National Enquirer had been monitoring Woods for months and a reporter followed her up in the elevator and watched her go into Woods’ suite, which was proof enough for the story to run.
Woods tried to persuade his wife Elin Nordegren that Uchitel was a friend and put her on the phone with her for 30 minutes.
Uchitel says she used the time ‘convincing her I was not having a sexual relationship with Tiger’ and she seemed to have bought it.
The story came out and it seemed to have made little impact.
On Thanksgiving Uchitel says she was texting Woods they had ‘gotten away unscathed in what could have been a complete nightmare’.
Then she got a text saying: ‘You were the only one I ever loved’. Uchitel was feeling that things had ‘never been better’ between them.
Woods said he was taking an Ambien and going to sleep but a short while later Uchitel got another text saying: ‘When am I going to see you again’, and then the phone rang.
Surprised, Uchitel answered with ‘hey babe’ but it was Nordegren who told her: ‘I knew it was you.’
Nordegren and Woods got into a ferocious argument that led to her chasing him out of the house with a golf club and him crashing his SUV into a tree.
After the incident the affair became public, Woods’ world collapsed and a slew of women came forward to claim they had affairs with him.
Tiger Woods’ SUV after he crashed it into a fire hydrant and tree outside his home in 2009
Woods released a statement on his website saying, ‘I have let my family down and I regret those transgressions with all of my heart’
Nordegren, with whom he had two young children, divorced him for a reported $100 million.
Uchitel says: ‘I regret that he was married and I regret the mistakes that I made but people came at me like they wanted to blame me for the fact a married man cheated on his wife, like I was the only one responsible for his actions.’
Woods arranged for a confidentiality settlement and told Uchitel to ‘get as much as you can’ from his lawyers.
Uchitel says: ‘I think to him that was his only way to love me at the time.’
Uchitel was the first of more than a dozen women who were identified as Woods’ mistresses in 2009, which led to his downfall from the pinnacle of the golfing world.
Until then Woods’ image had been squeaky clean and he had earned hundreds of millions of dollars from sponsorships, including Nike and American Express.
During an excruciating televised apology in February 2010, Woods revealed he had undergone 45 days of ‘inpatient therapy receiving guidance for the issues I’m facing’. Woods split from wife Elin in 2010.
The dad-of-two split from wife Elin Nordegren in 2010, after news of his multiple affairs broke. He now dates long term girlfriend Erica Herman. It was Nordegren who had chased him out of the house with a golf club after discovering his numerous infidelities
Following revelations of his infidelities Woods returned to action in the Masters and had to endure a public dressing down from Augusta National chairman Billy Payne.
‘It is not simply the degree of his conduct here that is so egregious,’ Payne said. ‘It is the fact that he disappointed all of us and, more importantly, our kids and our grandkids. Our hero did not live up to expectations.’
Understandably, 2010 was the first time in his professional career Woods did not win a single tournament.
And – although he won five times in 2013 to get back to world number one – he started just 24 events in the next four years as the pain from a back injury often left him grimacing or forced to withdraw from events entirely.
Spinal fusion surgery in 2017 was the last throw of the dice to save his golf career, and proved successful, although Woods still had issues in cold weather and when forced to play more than 18 holes in a day.
But just weeks after his spinal surgery, Woods hit rock bottom when he was arrested for a DUI in Palm Beach County.
Woods was found asleep at the wheel of his car and later pleaded guilty to reckless driving.
It emerged that Woods had five prescription drugs in his system at the time and he spent 11 months on probation.
There were five different kinds of drugs in Woods’ system when he was arrested in 2017
Woods continued winning for a few years but injuries destroyed his form and he hit rock bottom in 2017 when he was arrested for a DUI in Palm Beach County
During his return to action in November 2017, Woods revealed the depth of his physical struggles. ‘I’ve been in bed for about two years and haven’t been able to do much,’ Woods said.
But his tale of redemption was complete in 2019 when Woods held his nerve on a chaotic final day at Augusta National to win his 15th major title.
It was his fifth green jacket in the 83rd Masters.
The achievement won him widespread acclaim, and President Trump awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom on May 6, 2019, with the White House hailing Woods as a ‘global symbol of American excellence.’
Tiger Woods and Nick Faldo of England during the final round of the 1997 Masters Tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club on April 13, 1997 in Augusta, Georgia
Masters champion Tiger Woods celebrates winning the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club, Sunday, April 14, 2019
The then-president said: ‘Congratulations again on your amazing comeback and your amazing life and for giving sports fans everywhere a lifetime of memories.’
Woods has continued playing since, but has still been plagued with injury.
Woods recently underwent his fifth back surgery and has not been playing competitively while he recovers.
Following Thursday’s crash en route to a Los Angeles golf course, Woods is again undergoing surgery on Tuesday for non life- threatening injuries including a compound fracture and a shattered ankle.
His live-in girlfriend Erica Herman is understood to be at the hospital where he is undergoing surgery.
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