Experts believe they know what caused Tiger Wood’s scary SUV crash last month in Los Angeles. The golfing legend broke several bones in his leg and required emergency surgery after his car jumped the median and hit a tree.
Police have said Woods was not speeding at the time of the wreck. He also didn’t appear to be under the influence, Los Angeles Police told reporters last week, and no charges are expected. Police haven’t released the cause of the crash. But USA Today spoke with several traffic experts who believe they know what caused it.
“To me, this is like a classic case of falling asleep behind the wheel, because the road curves and his vehicle goes straight,” Jonathan Cherney told the paper.
Cherney, an automobile crash expert, examined the scene of Woods’ wreck. He said several tell-tale signs point to the golfer being asleep. Police have said there were no skid marks on the road. But his injuries point to him pressing down the brakes when his SUV hit the tree. Anish Mahajan, the chief medical officer for Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, said Woods broke his tibia and fibula bones in his right leg.
“It’s a drift off the road, almost like he was either unconscious, suffering from a medical episode, or fell asleep and didn’t wake up until he was off the road and that’s where the brake application came in,” Cherney told USA Today.
LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said the preliminary assessment is that the wreck was “purely an accident.”
Doctors Doubt Tiger Woods Will Be Able to Return to PGA
Dr. Michael Gardner, chief of orthopedic trauma at Stanford Medical Center, said Woods has several things working against him along with the injuries from the crash. Doctors inserted a metal rod into his leg to stabilize his broken bones. They also set his ankle and foot with several screws and pins.
“I would say, unfortunately, it’s very, very unlikely that he returns to be a professional golfer after these injuries,” Gardner said of Tiger Woods. “His age, his multiple back issues, this is going to be a very long road ahead if he chooses to attempt to return to his previous level of golfing.”
But Woods has beaten the odds before. Doctors said his back injuries and several surgeries would likely cause him to retire early. He won the Masters in 2019, years after that prognosis.
PGA commissioner Jay Monahan said last week that it’s not the time to speculate about Woods’ future.
“Listen, when Tiger wants to talk about golf, we’ll talk about golf. When you’re going to overcome what he needs to overcome, I think the love of all of our players and everybody out here, it’s going to come forward in a big way and across the entire sporting world.”