Sheriff executes search warrant for black box from Tiger Woods’ crashed car

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Brent Schrotenboer, USA TODAY and Josh Peter, USA TODAY Sports
·2 min read
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The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has executed a search warrant to obtain data from the “black box” in the car that was crashed last week by famed golfer Tiger Woods, sheriff’s personnel confirmed Tuesday to USA TODAY Sports.

But the sheriff’s department has decided not to seek a warrant to obtain Woods’ blood to help determine whether he was under the influence of medication at the time of the crash Feb. 23.

To obtain such a warrant for the black box, law enforcement is required to establish there was probable cause that a crime was committed, even if it’s just a misdemeanor.

A sheriff’s deputy Tuesday downplayed the warrant as a routine part of their probe. He said he didn’t consider it a criminal investigation, but rather due diligence. The affidavit that the sheriff’s department used to establish such probable cause was not immediately available.

“We’re trying to determine if a crime was committed,” Sheriff’s Deputy John Schloegl told USA TODAY Sports on Tuesday. “If somebody is involved in a traffic collision, we’ve got to reconstruct the traffic collision, if there was any reckless driving, if somebody was on their cell phone or something like that. We determine if there was a crime. If there was no crime, we close out the case, and it was a regular traffic collision.”

Schloegl also said there was “no probable cause” to get a warrant to obtain Woods’ blood from him or the hospital he went to with broken bones in his lower right leg after the crash.

He added that the Woods camp has been cooperative. Woods’ agent, Mark Steinberg, did not immediately return an email seeking comment on Tuesday night.

In 2017, Woods was found asleep at the wheel in Florida and had numerous medications in his system including the sleep aid Ambien, Vicodin, Xanax, Dilaudid and THC, according to the toxicology report that came out later. In January, he announced he had recently undergone the latest of several surgical procedures on his back.

“We can’t just assume that somebody’s history makes them guilty,” Schloegl said. He noted that first responders observed Woods to be alert with no evidence of impairment after he crashed his vehicle, a Genesis GV80, while headed north near Rolling Hills Estates in Los Angeles County.

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