What Really Caused Tiger Woods February 23, 2021 Solo Crash?
February 24, 2021
World-famous golf champ Tiger Woods captures the headlines by winning the PGA Tour an astonishing 82 times. Woods drives the golf ball like no other and is one the most accomplished professional golfers in history. But, Woods also makes the news for a different kind of driving.
In 2009, the day after Thanksgiving, Woods had a solo crash. Woods ran his SUV ran over a fire hydrant in the front of his house, and hit a tree. Drugs and alcohol were not involved.
In 2017, Woods was found passed out behind the wheel, under the influence of prescription pain medication. Charges were filed and Woods was convicted. This happened a month or so after a back surgery.
Woods' latest behind the wheel incident happened on February 23, 2021 at around 7:00 AM in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. Woods had a solo crash, his ankle and leg bones fractured and shattered. Fortunately, a neighbor called 911, so authorities rushed to the scene. Woods' vehicle was so damaged that he had to be extricated using an axe and a prybar to pull off his windshield. This latest incident also happened a month or so after Woods' fifth back surgery.
This time around, Woods suffered a comminuted open fracture of his left leg bones (tibia and fibula) and a shattered ankle. “Comminuted” means that Woods' tibia and fibula shattered. An “open fracture” means Woods' bone broke through the skin. The tibia is the bigger, stronger bone below the knee. The fibula is the smaller bone that goes along side the tibia.
The latest crash comes on the heels of Woods' recent Genesis Invitational broadcast at the Riviera Country Club. Social media speculated that Tiger might have been under the influence of pain killers because some people thought Woods looked glassy-eyed on TV.
In this latest accident, there are no accusations of drug or alcohol use. But, it's important to note that there was no blood test at the hospital. So, if Tiger was under the influence of something when this latest crash happened, any evidence about just what he might have had in his blood right before the crash is long gone.
Like all serious car accidents, law enforcement may take weeks or more to determine the cause of the crash. Factors that will be taken into account include things like Tigers' speed, whether he was driving while distracted (talking on his cell phone, texting, adjusting the stereo, fumbling to pick something up that fell while he was driving, etc.), and any defects in the SUV or the road that may have contributed to or caused the crash.
L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said Woods was traveling at a “relatively greater speed than normal” while driving downhill. This is a fancy way of saying Tiger may have been speeding. Speeding is one of the common causes of car crashes. Speeding can cause a driver to lose control which can lead to a rollover crash.
Sheriff Villanueva also said that the roadway where Tiger crashed is a frequent site of car accidents. Now, this would definitely be a fact that Woods' attorney and their accident reconstructionsts would need to explore. That is:
Was there a defect in the roadway itself that contributed to or caused Tiger Woods' serious SUV rollover crash which fractured and shattered Woods' leg bones and ankle?
Villanueva reports that Woods' 2021 Genesis GV80 SUV rolled over several times before coming to a stop and landing on its side in the brush off the roadway.
Police will also look at whether there was something in the road that Tiger hit, and caused him to cross a median and travel across two lanes before crashing into a curb and then a tree.
If Tiger hires an attorney to explore making a claim for his personal injuries, that attorney will likely retain experts to reconstruct the crash. But, first the experts should move Tigers' SUV to a temperature controlled indoor storage facility so certain evidence does not degrade.
What will Tigers' accident reconstructionists look at?
Tigers' accident reconstructionsts will look at things like these:
- The data in the “black box” in Tigers' car, to find out what was happening right before the crash.
- The police report, also known as the Traffic Collision Report
- Police photos of Tigers' crashed car
- Tigers' actual crashed car
- Whether it was particularly windy at the time of the crash
- The undercarriage of Tigers' car and the gouge marks it may have made in the roadway
- Photos of the accident scene and the roadway
- Videos of the accident scene
- Traffic camera videos
- Security camera videos from houses near where the crash occurred, that show Tiger driving before the crash
- Tigers' cell phone records
- Tigers' statements at the accident scene and at the hospital
- Witness statements
- Ambulance records
- Medical records
- Police body worn camera video and audio
- 911 call records
- The number, frequency and type of other car crashes on that same roadway
- Measurements of the roadway
- Measurements of the skid marks - vehicles with ABS leave what are called "ABS road marks"
Tiger's accident reconstructionist will take all the above, and more, to try and figure out how the crash happened. They hope to answer:
- Did human error play a part in the crash?
- Did Tigers' SUV have a mechanical defect that caused the crash?
- Was Tigers' SUV defectively designed and did that defect cause or contribute to the crash?
- Was the roadway defective and did that defect contribute to the crash?
How do accident reconstructionsts figure things out?
Accident reconstructionists utilize computers, math and physics. They get all the evidence they can find to try and figure out what exactly happened that led to the accident. The circumstances of a crash, the human factors, the mechanics and more are carefully analyzed.
If Tiger makes and proves a personal injury claim, damages will be significant. Just the cost of the surgery Woods already had on his leg and ankle is very expensive. He may need further surgeries and rehabilitation. He will lose a lot of time from work and that means he will lose a lot of money.
Serious damages translate into a high value personal injury case. Tiger is going to be out of work for months, if not more. At this point, it is pure speculation whether Tiger will be able to return to his world famous vocation as an award-winning professional golfer.
So, we will not know what really caused Tiger Woods' February 23, 2021 solo SUV rollover crash until the above reconstruction work gets done. Regardless of what caused the crash, I hope that Tiger Woods has a speedy and full recovery from this SUV rollover accident.
If you were involved in a solo accident and you're injured, please call me. I'm Renee Yvonne Gardner, the attorney at Gardner Law. I help people who are injured.
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