Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said Wednesday that excessive and unsafe speed was the primary causal factor in the February car crash that left Tiger Woods with serious leg injuries.
Villanueva and Lomita Sheriff Station Captain Jim Powers said that Woods was traveling between 84 and 87 mph when his SUV breached a curb, according to data retrieved from the car's onboard computer system. The speed limit in the area of the crash is 45 mph.
Officials added that while Woods has "no recollection" of the crash, they believe he may have mistakenly hit the accelerator instead of the brakes when his SUV approached a curve in the road.
Villanueva and Powers said Wednesday that Woods would not be cited or charged in connection with the incident. While Powers noted that Woods was traveling at unsafe speeds, he said that because the excessive speed was not witnessed by a peace officer or a witness, a citation would have likely been thrown out of court.
Officials also noted that Woods was not charged with reckless driving because there was no evidence that he conducted any unsafe lane changes or passes.
Powers denied giving Woods special treatment and noted that any other person who would have been involved in such a crash would also not have received a citation.
Powers also noted that Woods showed no evidence of impairment at the scene. While Woods was dazed and in a state of shock at the scene, he was responsive. Officers did not smell any alcohol on Woods’ breath and did not find medication in his possession or in the car.
While the Associated Press reported last week that the Sheriff’s Office did not seek a warrant to test Woods’ blood for proof of drug use, Villanueva noted that deputies did not have the “building blocks” of probable cause to obtain such a warrant. He noted that just Woods’ history of past drug use — including a 2017 DUI — would not have sufficed for probable cause.
Last week, Villanueva said the sheriff’s department had concluded the investigation into the crash but would not release details without permission from Woods. In February, Villanueva told reporters that he suspected the crash was “purely an accident” and that no charges would be filed against the golfer.
Woods suffered serious injuries to both his legs on Feb. 23 when the SUV he was driving rolled over in a Los Angeles suburb. In a statement released following the crash, Woods’ representatives said he suffered multiple “open fractures” during the crash — injuries where broken bones break the skin.
Woods underwent several surgeries, where several rods and pins were inserted to stabilize his legs. He is currently recovering at his home in Florida.
Villanueva’s press conference comes just hours before the start of The Masters on Thursday. The Masters is one of golf’s four major championships and a tournament Woods has won five times, most recently in 2019.