• Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

LA Sheriff Says Unsafe Speed Was Primary Cause Of Tiger Woods Crash; No Sign Of Impairment

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Investigators Wednesday morning revealed that unsafe speed was the primary cause of the February crash that severely injured golfer, Tiger Woods, with no sign that he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Video Transcript

CHRIS HOLMSTROM: KCAL 9's, Rachel Kim is live at the Hall of Justice in downtown LA with more on this investigation. Rachel.

RACHEL KIM: Yeah, Chris and Suzie, during a news conference this morning Sheriff Alex Villanueva said that Tiger Woods and his representatives gave them permission to reveal details about the crash. He blames the wreck solely on Woods speeding and his loss of control behind the wheel. Seven weeks after the accident that left golf legend, Tiger Woods seriously injured, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department released their findings about what caused it. Excessive speed and the inability to negotiate the curve in the roadway.

SHERIFF ALEX VILLANUEVA: Estimated speeds at the first area of impact were 84 to 87 miles per hour. In the final estimated speed, when the vehicle struck the tree was 75 miles per hour.

RACHEL KIM: That's nearly twice the speed limit along the downhill stretch of Hawthorne Boulevard in Rolling Hills Estates where woods crashed on February 23. Sheriff Alex Villanueva explained why investigators did not seek a search warrant for a blood sample, which would have screened for drugs or alcohol.

SHERIFF ALEX VILLANUEVA: Without the signs of impairment, we don't get to the point where we can actually author a search warrant and develop the probable cause to get that and execute that search warrant.

CAPT. JAMES POWERS: There was no odor of alcohol. There were no open containers in the vehicle. And there were no narcotics or any evidence of medication in the vehicle or on his person.

RACHEL KIM: Investigators also said there was no evidence of distracted driving. Sheriff Villanueva said no traffic citations were issued and emphasized that his department did not give Woods special treatment.

SHERIFF ALEX VILLANUEVA: The decision not to issue a citation will be the exact same thing for anyone in this room who went through the same situation. In a solo traffic collision there's no witnesses, an infraction only. And we're not going to issue a citation on an infraction not committed in a peace officer's presence or independent witness's. Period.

GREGORY BRENNER: Totally run-of-the-mill findings. The same findings you'd find in thousands and thousands of other reports that don't get publicly revealed.

RACHEL KIM: Gregory Brenner is a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney, who says the Sheriff's departments findings aren't surprising and are pretty straightforward.

GREGORY BRENNER: There's going to always be interest when it's Tiger Woods. And also what adds to that, he was involved in another situation involving a car. And at that time there was questions about was he impaired.

This was just somebody who was speeding, who shouldn't have been speeding. It just had nothing to do with alcohol. So you know, there's no smoke, there's no fire.

RACHEL KIM: According to investigators, there was also no evidence Woods braked throughout the collision. They believe he may have accidentally stepped on the accelerator instead of the brake pedal. Reporting live in downtown LA, Rachel Kim, KCAL 9 news.

SUZIE SUH: Rachel, thank you very much. And Woods releasing this statement, which reads in part, "I am so grateful to both of the good Samaritans who came to assist me and called 911. 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."

CHRIS HOLMSTROM: All right, Suzie, let's talk to.