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Tiger Woods, one of the world's most iconic athletes, suffered major leg injuries Tuesday morning in a single-vehicle crash near Rancho Palos Verdes. The crash was reported just after 7 a.m. when sheriff's officials responded to a rollover traffic collision on the border of Rolling Hills Estates and the Rancho Palos Verdes, according to an LASD statement. Lesley Marin reports.
SUZIE SUH: Hi, everyone. I'm Suzie Suh.
JEFF VAUGHN: And thank you so much for joining us. I'm Jeff Vaughn. Our top story tonight, here on KCAL9 News and streaming on CBSN Los Angeles. Let's take a live look now over Harbor UCLA Medical Center where doctors just gave us the very first update on Tiger Woods just a few moments ago.
SUZIE SUH: That's right. Surgeons just revealing Tiger Woods has open fractures on his lower right leg. They inserted a steel rod to stabilize it and they have stabilized his shattered ankle with steel screws and pins. We have team coverage tonight from the very first timeline of the terrible crash and the latest on his condition at this hour.
JEFF VAUGHN: We begin with KCAL9's Lesley Marin near the crash site tonight.
LESLEY MARIN: Suzie, Jeff, while investigators say there are several factors that led up to this very violent rollover crash, including this road behind me where the crash happened. Investigators calling it sometimes deadly.
CARLOS GONZALEZ: I will say that it's very fortunate that Mr. Woods was able to come out of this alive.
LESLEY MARIN: From the front end to the bumper, you can see the extensive damage to the SUV Tiger Woods was driving when he got in a violent rollover crash in Rolling Hills Estates Tuesday morning. Sheriff Alex Villanueva now says the golf pro may have been speeding.
ALEX VILLANUEVA: Well, at the time it made, it crossed the center divider to the point that the rest of it was several hundred feet away. So obviously that indicates they were going at a relatively greater speed than normal.
LESLEY MARIN: We're now getting a better idea of what may have happened before the crash. TMZ reports Woods stayed overnight at the Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes and left in such a hurry at 7:00 this morning he almost hit the director of a TV show with his car. TMZ talked to a member of the crew.
- Almost hit the director of the TV show. He asked him. He just said he was just going fast.
LESLEY MARIN: Woods made it six miles down Hawthorne Boulevard when he crashed. The 9-1-1 call came in at seven 12 from a nearby resident. Golf Digest reports woods was heading for the Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades for 7:30 AMTV shoot. He was still 27 miles away when he crashed.
CARLOS GONZALEZ: I asked him what his name was. He told me his name was Tiger. And at that moment, I immediately recognized him. I asked him if he knew where he was, what time of day just to make sure he was oriented. He seemed as though he was lucid and calm.
LESLEY MARIN: Deputy Carlos Gonzalez was one of the first rescuers on scene. He says Woods had major injuries to both of his legs. But Gonzalez credits two key factors he believes saved his life.
CARLOS GONZALEZ: The nature of his vehicle, the fact that he was wearing a seatbelt, I would say that it greatly increased the likelihood that it saved his life.
LESLEY MARIN: Right now, investigators don't believe impairment was a factor in the crash. They say the stretch of road Woods was on is a trouble spot for speeding cars and deadly accidents. People who live in the area are used to having to watch their speeds.
- We spend a lot of money on brakes per year because you really need to ride them as you're going down this grade.
LESLEY MARIN: Well, despite all the damage you saw to the outside of that SUV, we're told the inside did remain mostly intact. Now the deputy that first got to the scene did have his body cam rolling at the time. But investigators tell us it may be days if not weeks before we get a final cause. Reporting live, Lesley Marin. KCAL9 News.
SUZIE SUH: Lesley.