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Officials Blame Speeding in Tiger Woods Crash

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Officials say Woods was driving roughly 40 miles over the speed limit, golfer may have hit gas instead of brake.

Video Transcript

AUSTIN KIM: Officials say Tiger Woods was driving nearly 40 miles per hour over the speed limit in February near Los Angeles before he veered off the road, hit a tree, and flipped over.

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

AUSTIN KIM: The posted speed limit for the road is 45 miles per hour. However, officials say they won't give Woods a citation.

JAMES POWERS: Part of it was because of the circumstances that he endured throughout the collision and the fact that in order to issue a citation, usually you have to have something to indicate an independent witness or an observation by a peace officer.

AUSTIN KIM: Investigators examined a data recorder from inside the vehicle. They believe Woods may have hit the accelerator mistakenly instead of the brake.

JAMES POWERS: We don't know that. He doesn't have any recollection of the incident. And like I said, that's a speculation. There is zero braking throughout that recording of the data recorder, and it's 99% acceleration on the pedal.

AUSTIN KIM: One of the lingering questions-- whether Woods was distracted while driving. Police decided not to even try to find out. They didn't even check his phone.

JAMES POWERS: It's not going to change anything. The cause of the collision was the speed and the inability to maintain the roadway. And so all it would have been is an associated factor, which wouldn't cause the collision.

AUSTIN KIM: Investigators stress the golfer wasn't under the influence and didn't find any substances or open containers in the vehicle. And they defended their decision not to test Woods.

JAMES POWERS: Due to his injuries and the traumatic nature of his injuries, it would not be appropriate to do any type of field sobriety test.

AUSTIN KIM: They explained there was no probable cause to get a blood sample, and his history of prescription drug use was not enough for a search warrant. The LA County sheriff insists Woods didn't receive any special treatment.

ALEX VILLANUEVA: The decision not to issue a citation would be the exact same thing for anyone in this room who went through the same situation-- 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 witnesses. Period.

AUSTIN KIM: For Newsy, I'm Austin Kim.