The LA County Sheriff’s Department says the sole reason for the crash was excessive speed, with Woods accidentally hitting the accelerator rather than braking before the vehicle flipped over.
Despite unanswered questions around the South California crash, officers declined to charge him and said there was “no need” to issue warrants for his phone records or blood tests over the crash.
In a press conference, officers found no evidence that Woods, who suffered multiple leg injuries and underwent surgery after being pulled from his 2021 Genesis SUV, was under the influence of any drugs. The 15-time major winner suffered multiple fractures and lacerations on both legs and had to be rushed to the operating theatre.
With LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva closing the case, only Woods can now explain why he sped up and failed to brake during the incident on Feb 23.
“The primary causal factor for this traffic collision was driving at a speed unsafe for the road conditions and the inability to negotiate the curve of the roadway,” he said. Estimated speed “at the first area of impact was 84 to 87mph”.
Woods’ wrecked car had crossed into the opposite lane, hit a curb and then collided with a tree before rolling down a verge on the border of Rolling Hills estates and Rancho Palos Verdes. Woods, who was wearing a seat belt, underwent a long surgical procedure on his lower right leg and ankle, before being moved to another hospital for follow-up procedures. He returned home to Florida to continue his recovery on March 15.
Officers cited the sole cause of the crash as speed after Woods, who will not be charged, waived his right of privacy and authorised the release of an accident report.
According to police conclusions, the SUV’s black box reportedly shows Woods accelerated at the time of the crash after he lost control. No warrant was issued to check Woods’ mobile phone to determine if he was on a call or texting.
There was no evidence he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, although authorities never tried to get a warrant to draw blood. Officers say they did not have the necessary probable cause, and no charges will be filed.
The 45 year-old was pried from the wreckage by rescue crews and rushed by ambulance, with rods and screws later inserted into his shin and ankle.
Villanueva said last month that a cause was determined and the investigation had concluded.
Fellow golfer Rory McIlroy said this week that he had visited Woods and described him as in “decent spirits”. Fellow pros were in tears when told the initial news and then there was huge relief when it was revealed by the LA Sheriff Department that the injuries were “non-life-threatening”. However, there remain obvious concerns that this could be the end for Woods the golfer, who has bestrode his sport like no other.
The accident happened at 7.12am when rescue services were called to Ranchos Palos Verdes, a district south of the Californian city. No other cars were believed to have been involved.
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