Los Angeles, Feb 24 : Tiger Woods suffered serious injuries to both legs as his car flew off the road and flipped several times Tuesday near Los Angeles in a crash he was “very fortunate” to survive, law enforcement officials who found the US golf legend said.
Woods did not appear to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol during the early-morning incident, and underwent surgery after the roll-over collision, said Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva.
No other vehicles or passengers were involved in the crash which occurred on a steep stretch of road known as an accident “hotspot,” where Woods was travelling at “a greater speed than normal,” said the sheriff.
“I will say that it’s very fortunate that Mr. Woods was able to come out of this alive,” said deputy Carlos Gonzalez, the first officer to arrive on scene.
Gonzalez found Woods trapped in his vehicle but conscious, appearing “calm and lucid” and able to identify himself to the deputy as “Tiger.”
“It is my understanding that he had serious injuries to both legs,” said Los Angeles County fire chief Daryl Osby, describing Woods’ condition as “stable.”
Firefighters and paramedics extricated Woods from the wreckage of his SUV and transported him with a neck collar and backboard to a local hospital via road, where he underwent surgery.
There was “no evidence of impairment at this time” including any influence of narcotics, mediciation or alcohol, said Villanueva, adding that the crash remained “subject to investigation.”
He added that no blood was drawn at the scene of the crash because the sheriff’s office does not have that capability.
Woods, one of the most successful golfers of all time, has won 15 major golf championships.
He recently underwent his fifth back surgery, and said he was uncertain if he will be able to play at the upcoming Masters, which he last won in 2019.
Woods, 45, was in the area for his annual Genesis Invitational golf tournament at the Riviera Country Club, and was driving a courtesy car on the morning of the crash.
“We are awaiting further information when he comes out of surgery. On behalf of the PGA Tour and our players, Tiger is in our prayers and will have our full support as he recovers,” said PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said in a statement.