Excessive Speeding Deemed Reason For Woods Crash

A week after teasing the general public by releasing a statement saying the cause of Tiger Woods’ Feb. 23 car crash was known but not being revealed, the LA County Sheriff’s Department gave more information on Wednesday.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said Woods’ vehicle was traveling at “a speed unsafe for the road conditions” estimated to be between 84 and 87 miles per hour when he lost control, and he was traveling at roughly 75 miles per hour when he made impact with a tree.

Villanueva reiterated that there were “no signs of impairment” and clarified that Woods has not been charged or cited in connection with the accident.

“People said, ‘Oh, they should have drawn blood or done this or done that,’” Villanueva said. “Without the signs of impairment, we don’t get to the point where we can actually author a search warrant and determine the probable cause to get that and execute that search warrant, so that did not happen. And that is not preferential treatment. That would occur in any collision of this type.”

Woods suffered serious leg injuries in a single-vehicle rollover accident which included open fractures to his tibia and fibula that required a rod to be inserted, and additional injuries to the bones of the foot and ankle that were stabilized with screws and pins.

As part of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s investigation into the crash the department executed a search warrant to obtain data from the “black box” in the car that was crashed. Sheriff’s Deputy John Schloegl confirmed that the black-box data has been downloaded but he did not reveal its contents. The data from it typically can show the vehicle’s speed, steering angle, brake and acceleration activity before impact.

“A cause has been determined; the investigation has concluded,” Sheriff Alex Villanueva told the Associated Press during a live social media event last week. He went on to say that investigators need permission from Woods to release the information.

With approval from the Woods camp, Jim Powers, captain of the Lomita sheriff station, was able to elaborate on details from the accident.

“My investigators, as they interviewed him at the scene and at the hospital, the questions were asked,” Powers said. “There was nothing to indicate any type of intoxication. He did answer those questions. He stated he didn’t brake, that he wasn’t taking any medication. Those questions were asked, and answered.

“I know there were allegations of an incident that occurred prior to the collision. I reviewed video footage and I watched him on video walk out to his car, put his personal belongings in his car and drive off the property. And he was driving very normal, very slow as he began driving, to the point where it didn’t appear he even put his foot on the accelerator. He just took his foot off the break and allowed the car to roll away.

“He made complete stops at two stop signs and stopped for a traffic signal before entering the highway. So there is no evidence of any increased speed or rushed behavior.

Powers said investigators believe that Woods may have accidentally slammed the accelerator instead of the brake during the crash, leading to the excessive speeds continuing through the impact with the tree.

“The acceleration pedal percentage, which is the pressure applied to the accelerator pedal during the collision, this measurement was at 99 percent during the area of impact, of all the areas of impact at the collision.

“There was no evidence of braking throughout this collision. It is speculated and believed that Tiger Woods inadvertently hit the accelerator instead of the brake pedal, causing the 99 percent rating on the accelerating pedal.”

Finally, Powers again reiterated that Woods would not be cited with reckless driving or any other citation as there need to be multiple offenses present to bring that charge.

“We did not check his phone for texting. There was really no need to do that,” he said. “There was no other evidence. The only associated factor—well, there are two factors. The speed, and the failure to maintain the curvature of the road. That’s it, there’s nothing from the cell phone to indicate distracted driving.

After the release of the report, Woods provided a statement on social media thanking first responders and doctors as well as thanking fans for their well wishes.

“I will continue to focus on my recovery and family, and thank everyone for the overwhelming support and encouragement I’ve received throughout this very difficult time.”