Golf superstar Tiger Woods was injured in his legs in a serious car accident. The 45-year-old was “very lucky” to survive the accident, said the Los Angeles police on Tuesday. His SUV rolled over several times on a steeply sloping stretch south of the Californian metropolis. The American was traveling alone in the vehicle.
According to Los Angeles Police Chief Alex Villanueva, there is no evidence that Woods could have been under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the accident. According to the information, the cause of the accident was still being investigated.
Woods had to be freed from the vehicle with hydraulic rescue equipment. Villanueva said he was conscious, “calm and clear,” when the police took him out of the badly damaged car. The golf star was transported to the hospital with a neck brace and a board to support his spine, where he was operated on a little later.
The authorities did not provide any details about Woods’ leg injuries. According to the Los Angeles Times, he suffered injuries to both legs and a broken ankle.
According to the police chief, Woods was alone in the car when it crashed shortly after 7 a.m. local time between the communities of Rolling Hill Estates and Rancho Palos Verdes south of Los Angeles on Tuesday. Other vehicles were therefore not involved in the accident.
The accident occurred on a steep stretch on which vehicles have repeatedly crashed due to excessive speed in recent years.
Got out of lane and rolled over several times
The SUV driven by Woods came off the opposite lane and then hit the curb and a tree, according to police. After overturning several times, the vehicle remained on its side on a lawn some distance from the road. Its hood was badly damaged.
Woods had been in the area for a golf tournament that ended over the weekend. The accident vehicle had been made available to him for the duration of his stay.
Scandal and car accident in 2009
Woods is one of the most successful golfers in history. During his career he won 15 major tournaments. However, his career had slumped after a scandal over his private life in 2009 caused a huge stir. Woods crashed his car into a tree and a fire hydrant near his home in the state of Florida, after he was said to have had an argument with his then wife Elin Nordegren. Woods admitted adultery a little later, and the couple divorced in 2010. Woods then took a break from professional golf.
In 2017, Woods was found sleeping by a police patrol in the middle of the night at the wheel of his damaged vehicle. At this point he was under the influence of a drug cocktail. Woods went into inpatient treatment.
From January 2018 he made an extremely successful golf comeback – despite four back operations in previous years. In April 2019 Woods won the US Masters in Augusta for the fifth time in his career. However, he was recently operated on for the fifth time, which is why he expressed doubts as to whether he would be able to take part in the Masters in Augusta again in 2021. “God, I hope so,” he recently answered a related question. He has another MRI scan pending and is still in rehab.
Woods had hosted a PGA tournament in Los Angeles at the weekend and presented the winner Max Homa with the trophy on Sunday.
The PGA Tour issued a statement assuring Woods its full support in recovery. Woods’ colleague Justin Thomas, number three in the golf world rankings, said: “I’m sick. It hurts when one of your closest friends is involved in an accident. I just hope he’s fine. I’m worried about his children, I’m sure they’re having a hard time right now.