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1 Mar 2021 5:43
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  •   Home > News > International

    What we know about the Tiger Woods car crash in Los Angeles

    Tiger Woods is recovering in hospital after lengthy surgery on multiple open leg fractures, and police say he is lucky to be alive after his crash. Here's what else we know.

    Golf legend Tiger Woods is awake and recovering in hospital after being seriously injured in a car crash in Los Angeles.

    The 45-year-old was found trapped in his SUV after it rolled off a highway. He was taken to a nearby hospital, where he had surgery on his leg.

    Here's what we know about the crash.

    What happened to Tiger Woods?

    Woods was left with serious injuries as a result of a single-car crash that saw his vehicle roll multiple times off a highway in Los Angeles.

    Police said he "appeared to have been travelling at a "relatively greater speedthan normal".

    The exact time of accident isn't known, but emergency services were called at 7:12am local time by people in a house near the scene.

    In the dispatch call, obtained by TMZ, emergency services said there was "a rollover with someone trapped".

    Traffic was blocked off in the area and emergency medical services called for a fire crew to be sent to the scene to help get Woods out of the car.

    Contrary to initial reports, LA County Fire Chief Darrell Osby said the jaws of life were not used.Instead, fire crews used a prying tool called a Halligan bar and an axe to cut Woods out of the wreckage.

    The car hit the centre median strip, a sign, the far kerb and a tree, and rolled multiple times before coming to a stop off the road, "several hundred feet" from the initial contact with the centre divider, according to LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva.

    Police said the airbags deployed, Woods was wearing a seatbelt and there were no signs he was driving under the influence.

    An investigation is being conducted into the crash, but Sheriff Villanueva said it would take weeks to complete.

    However Sheriff Villanueva said there were no skid marks or signs of braking at the scene of the accident.

    What were Woods's injuries?

    Officials said Woods suffered "serious" injuries, but they were not life threatening.

    Woods's agent, Mark Steinberg, said his client had "suffered multiple leg injuries" and was in surgery shortly after the crash.

    Woods was able to communicate with first responders at the scene but couldn't stand by himself, according to Deputy Gonzalez.

    He was put on a stretcher and taken to nearby Harbor UCLA Hospital, which is also a trauma centre.

    Hours later, Tiger Woods's official Twitter account posted a statement, confirming he was awake, responsive and recovering having undergone a "long surgical procedure" on his lower right leg and ankle.

    "Comminuted open fractures affecting both the upper and lower portions of the tibia and fibula bones were stabilised by inserting a rod into the tibia," the statement said.

    Comminuted fractures are breaks of the bone where there are more than two fragments.

    "Additional injuries to the bones of the foot and ankle were stabilised with a combination of screws and pins."

    Earlier reports suggested Woods had compound fractures to both legs.

    What car was he driving?

    Woods was driving a 2021 Hyundai Genesis SUV that was given to him as a courtesy car from the Genesis Invitational golf event he hosted over the weekend.

    Both Sheriff Villanueva and Deputy Carlos Gonzalez, the first police officer on the scene, said in a press conference that the car's safety features saved his life.

    Sheriff Villanueva said the inside of the car was mostly intact, giving "him a cushion to survive the crash".

    Authorities said if he was driving a less modern car there is a good chance he would not have survived.

    "It's very fortunate Mr Woods was able to come out of this alive," Gonzalez said.

    Where did the crash happen?

    Woods crashed on California State Route 7 in a coastal area of Los Angeles called Rancho Palos Verdes.

    According to the Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department, his car went off Hawthorne Road, near Blackhorse Road, as he was driving north towards an area called Rolling Hills Estates.

    LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said there was a "high frequency" of accidents on that stretch of highwaybecause of the downhill slope and a curve in the road.

    What had Tiger Woods been doing recently?

    Woods was reportedly in the area, one of the country's most expensive postcodes, because he was filming with GOLF TV.

    In recent days the 15-time major winner had appeared on course with NBA great Dwyane Wade and comedian David Spade.

    He was also the host of the Genesis Invitational over the weekend and presented the trophy to winner Max Homa on Sunday (local time) at the Riviera Country Club, about a 45-minute drive from where the accident took place on Tuesday morning.

    Woods had recently had more surgery on his back, which has regularly hindered him in the back half of his career, and the last time we saw him properly on course was in a father-son event with 11-year-old Charlie Woods.

    © 2021 ABC Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved

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