Police determine cause of Tiger Woods crash – but it might never be revealed

Detectives have determined the cause of the crash that left Tiger Woods with serious injuries earlier this year – but it might never be revealed.

After the golfer crashed his SUV just outside Los Angeles in February, he told officers he did not remember driving, let alone how the crash occurred.

He had struck a raised median strip in the early hours of the morning, crossing through two oncoming lanes and uprooting a tree.

Tiger Woods car crash. Pic: AP
Image:The golfer told police he did not remember driving. Pic: AP

On Wednesday, the Los Angeles County sheriff said details of the cause would not yet be released due to privacy concerns.

Sheriff Alex Villanueva said: “A cause has been determined, the investigation has concluded.”

He claimed Woods needed to give permission before more information could be released, saying: “We have reached out to Tiger Woods and his personnel.

“There are some privacy issues on releasing information on the investigation so we’re going to ask them if they waive the privacy and then we will be able to do a full release on all the information regarding the accident.”

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Woods, 45, suffered serious injuries in the crash and is in Florida recovering from a number of surgeries.

June 15, 2008 - San Diego, CA..Tiger Woods (USA) lines up his putt on the green of the 2nd hole Sunday during the final round of the US Open at the Torrey Pines Golf Course in La Jolla California. .Louis Lopez / Cal Sport Media.(Credit Image: © Louis Lopez/CSM via ZUMA Wire) (Cal Sport Media via AP Images)
Image:Woods has not played since December, when he took part in the PNC Championship in Orlando. Pic: AP

He had reportedly been unconscious when the first witness arrived at the scene but a sheriff’s deputy said he was simply in shock.

No search warrant was sought for blood samples, which could have been tested for drugs and alcohol.

Woods sought help for his use of prescription drugs in 2017 after a charge of driving under the influence.

A warrant was obtained, however, for the data recorder in Woods’ 2021 Genesis GV80 SUV.

Sheriff Villanueva said: “We have all the contents of the black box, we’ve got everything.

“It’s completed, signed, sealed and delivered. However, we can’t release it without the permission of the people involved in the collision.”

Tiger Woods: The highs and lows of one of golf's greatest of all time

Tiger Woods: The highs and lows of one of golf’s greatest of all time

Joseph Giacalone, a professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice and a retired New York City Police Department sergeant, said the insistence on getting Woods’ permission did not make sense.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a department ever ask for permission like that,” he said. “What happens if his lawyers say ‘no, you can’t send it out now’. And then where does that leave us?”

Mr Giacalone also said it is unlikely deputies would have asked permission from non-celebrity victims in similar crashes.

If Woods had been affected by a medical episode while driving, for example, authorities could just have said the cause of the crash was a medical emergency without giving additional details, he added.

Mark Gibson

Graduates in Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 1990. Move to Los Angeles California in 2004. Specialized in Internet journalism.

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