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Sheriff's Official: Speed A Possible Factor In Tiger Woods Crash

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A lieutenant with the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department told KCAL 9's Jasmine Viel the golf star was conscious when he was extricated from his crashed vehicle, and was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Video Transcript

- All right, so first off, give us the details about this crash that we are looking at involving golfer Tiger Woods.

MICHAEL WHITE: About a little bit after 7:00 this morning, we are called of a solo traffic collision on northbound Hawthorne Boulevard near Palos Verdes Drive North in the city of Rolling Hills Estates. And the responding deputies realized who the driver was when they arrived.

- Lieutenant, you know, the jaws of life had to be used to pull Woods from his vehicle. First, it's an SUV, or is it a smaller car? I can't even tell.

MICHAEL WHITE: You know what? I haven't been to the scene. I believe it's an SUV. And as far as the jaws of life, I don't believe that information is accurate.

- Oh, it was a tweet, it was a statement from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department that they said they had to use it, paramedics and firefighters did. So that's where we got the information, so we're going off of that statement.

MICHAEL WHITE: OK. Well, at the moment, I don't have any indication that the jaws of life were used.

- Lieutenant let me ask--

MICHAEL WHITE: So we can maybe stop putting that one out. I don't have any report--

- OK. Is this stretch of highway, this boulevard, Hawthorne Boulevard, is this a dangerous place? Are you guys responding a lot to drivers crashing here? Because--

MICHAEL WHITE: It's not necessarily dangerous, but it is a downhill grade, complete with runaway truck lanes.

- So you find a lot a lot of times, are people purposefully speeding because it's a flat, straight stretch? Or once the downhill part is over, is there a big curve?

MICHAEL WHITE: It's a steep grade where you could pick up substantial speed.

- And you mentioned--

MICHAEL WHITE: And he was headed downhill at the time.

- OK, so he was going downhill northbound.


- Is that correct, then?

MICHAEL WHITE: That's correct.

- OK, so northbound there on Hawthorne Boulevard at Blackhorse?

MICHAEL WHITE: It was between Blackhorse and Palos Verdes Drive North.

- And from your experience there at the LA County Sheriff's Department, when you see this-- this crash and it's causing this vehicle to flip so many times, what is your best guess, at least, just to how this happened?

MICHAEL WHITE: You know, the traffic investigators are on scene and it may take days, weeks to determine the cause of this crash. It could be any one of a number of reasons-- operator error, sometimes drivers are fatigued and they fall asleep, or they strike something in the roadway and lose control. Speed could play a factor. But at this point, we don't know.

- And no word on any other cars or drivers that he may have swerved around or that there may be anyone else that was there when this crash happened?

MICHAEL WHITE: At this point, we don't have any indication that there were any other vehicles involved.

- OK, no other vehicles. OK, great. For those little tidbits, you know, and that's what we're waiting on, anything that can offer us more insight and even into the condition of Tiger Woods. Have you heard anything about his condition?

MICHAEL WHITE: You know, I was just told that he has non-life-threatening injuries.

- That is very, very reassuring to hear. And again, our prayers going out to Woods and his quick recovery. All right. I'm just making a few notes of this so we can reference back, Lieutenant, make sure I have all the factual information, and what you guys are learning by the moment, I'm sure, as well from those traffic investigators. Up the road as our chopper, as our video pans up, we see a sign split in half and we see quite a debris field from this crash.

MICHAEL WHITE: Yes. That's quite possible when you have a vehicle that rolls over.

- Sure, and just how far that it ended up from the road where he was traveling, too, so flipping multiple times. So this happening after 7:00, have you guys closed this stretch of the Boulevard?

MICHAEL WHITE: The roadway is closed because the traffic investigators, when they arrive, they take measurements. They inspect the vehicle. They take photographs. They have to draw diagrams. And as far as those measurements go, they don't get a second chance once they, you know, release the scene, if you will and open up the roadway to go in and do all that stuff again. So they have to take their time and be thorough.

- And when your deputies arrived, was Woods awake, conscious, talking?

MICHAEL WHITE: I believe he was conscious.

- OK, so that's good, able to communicate. And sorry, and you cut out for a second, but did you say they were able to identify him right away? He told them who he was, or how did that happen?

MICHAEL WHITE: You know, I'm not sure how that happened. I would imagine they would know who he was on sight.

- And then just making that confirmation, if he maybe told them, hey, this is who I am. I've been here at this tournament. You know, so many Tiger Woods fans, and seeing something like this makes your heart stop.

MICHAEL WHITE: It does, and I'm just glad that he appears to be fairly OK.

- Yeah, non-life-threatening injuries from Lieutenant there. Thank you so much for the time.


- Lieutenant White, appreciate it, with the LA County Sheriff's Department.