Tiger’s Hawthorne Crash Puts Local Roads In The National Headlines
• Hawthorne Blvd. proves nonnegotiable at high speed for top golfer
On Tuesday, Feb. 23, the eyes of the sport’s world turned to the Palos Verdes Peninsula, as one of the most decorated golfers of all time was involved in a horrific car crash in Rolling Hills Estates.
Tiger Woods, who has won a record 82 PGA Tour events, was driving a loaner Genesis GV80 SUV from Terranea Resort to Rolling Hills Country Club in the morning hours of the day. Woods was traveling down Hawthorne Boulevard towards Palos Verdes Drive North when he picked up speed. The vehicle passed over the dividing median, crossed to the other side of the road and flipped into brush beside the street. Woods was the only person in the car.
A neighbor called 911 at 7:12 a.m. Woods was traveling 84 miles per hour in a 45 mile per hour zone when the crash occurred, and he was still accelerating even though he was going downhill, according to police reports.
Sheriff’s Captain James Powers said that it’s possible Woods meant to hit the brake but accidentally hit the accelerator while in panic. When his vehicle hit a tree on the other side of the median, Woods was still traveling 75 miles mph.
As news of the crash began to break about four hours after the incident, news helicopters began to circle the area. National networks were airing live footage of the rental car in the brush as Woods was in surgery at UCLA Harbor Hospital.
This is not the first time that Woods has been involved in accidents involving cars. In 2009 the pro golfer crashed outside his Florida residence on Thanksgiving night. In 2017, Woods checked himself into a clinic after receiving a DUI. Because of this, many in the media and elsewhere suspected that Woods may have been impaired due to medication, drugs or alcohol.
But the Sheriff’s department has declared the crash “purely an accident.” Officials found no signs of impairment, and no charges will be filed against Woods.
When pressed on why Woods would not be charged, Sheriff Alex Villanueva said, “To get probable cause you need to have building blocks of evidence to indicate that someone potentially committed a crime, and that’s higher than just a reasonable suspicion. You cannot approach a judge for a search warrant just because, ‘Well, we knew they had trouble in the past or something, therefore, can you sign this?’ And the judge is going to say, ‘Get out of here.’ “
In a statement released April 2, Woods said that he is grateful to the Sheriff’s Deputies, firemen and paramedics who helped him that morning.