Deputy says Tiger Woods ‘lucky to be alive’

Official: Jaws of Life not used | Injuries reportedly non-life threatening

What You Need To Know: Tiger Woods

Pro golfer Tiger Woods was injured in a single-vehicle car crash Tuesday in California and is undergoing surgery for multiple leg injuries, according to his agent.

Los Angeles County Deputy Carlos Gonzalez said Woods is “lucky to be alive,” according to reporter Lauren Stephenson.

Gonzalez said he has responded to other crashes on the same roadway that have been fatal, Stephenson reported, and Woods is alive because he was wearing a seat belt.

At a Tuesday afternoon news conference, authorities said there is no immediate evidence that Woods was impaired in the crash that seriously injured both of his legs.

The police chief and fire chief of Los Angeles County didn’t answer follow-up questions on how they know he wasn’t impaired or how fast he was driving. Weather was not a factor in the crash.

Sheriff Alex Villanueva and Fire Chief Daryl Osby said Woods was conscious and able to communicate when authorities arrived to pry him from an SUV after the rollover crash.

Woods’ injuries are non-life threatening, FOX 5 reported.

Firefighters pried open the front windshield to get him out, said Christopher Thomas, a spokesman for the county Fire Department. Officials initially reported that Jaws of Life were used, but Osby said that was not the case, according to reporter Steve Herman.

Police responded to “a single vehicle rollover traffic collision” at 7:12 a.m. PT, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. The accident happened near Rolling Hills Estates and Rancho Palos Verdes, about 20 miles south of downtown Los Angeles.

Police said Woods’ vehicle was traveling northbound on Hawthorne Boulevard at Blackhorse Road when it crashed. Genesis confirmed that Woods was driving a GV80 vehicle from the Genesis Invitational golf tournament at the time of the crash, according to reporter Nathan Bomey.

The cause of the wreck wasn’t clear. The two-lane road curves through upscale suburbs, and the northbound side that Woods was driving on descends steeply enough that signs warn trucks to use lower gears. The speed limit is 45 mph.

The vehicle sustained major damage.

Woods was taken to a local hospital by ambulance. His agent, Mark Steinberg, confirmed the single-car accident shortly after 2:45 p.m. ET and said Woods is currently in surgery for multiple leg injuries.

Woods was the sole occupant of the vehicle.

A KABC-TV helicopter over the scene of Woods’ accident showed a car on its side with the front end heavily damaged. Air bags appeared to be deployed. The wreckage appeared to be just off the side of a road on a hillside.

There was a second crash when a vehicle that had apparently stopped to help Woods got hit, said Christopher Thomas, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Fire Department. That wreck was minor, and no one was hurt.

PGA Commissioner Jay Monahan issued a statement, saying the organization is waiting on more information after Woods emerges from surgery.

“On behalf of the PGA TOUR and our players, Tiger is in our prayers and will have our full support as he recovers,” Monahan said.

Golfing legend Jack Nicklaus and his wife said they were “deeply concerned” about Woods.

Fellow athletes including Mike Tyson and Magic Johnson offered hope Woods would make a quick recovery.

“I’m sick to my stomach,” Justin Thomas, the No. 3 golfer in the world, said from the Workday Championship in Bradenton, Florida. “It hurts to see one of my closest friends get in an accident. Man, I just hope he’s all right.”

Woods, 45, was in California, according to Golf Digest, for a two-day shoot with Golf Digest/GOLFTV after serving as host for the PGA Tour’s Genesis Invitational over the weekend.

Woods reportedly was headed to play golf and a photo shoot with Saints quarterback Drew Brees and Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert, according to ESPN’s Shelley Smith.

Woods was scheduled to spend Monday and Tuesday filming with Discovery-owned GOLFTV, with whom he has an endorsement contract. According to Golf Digest, also owned by Discovery, the TV shoot was on-course lessons to celebrities, such as David Spade and Dwyane Wade. He did not play.

On Sunday, Woods told CBS’ Jim Nantz he was awaiting the results of an upcoming MRI before he could begin training for competition. He recently underwent a microdiscectomy procedure to remove a pressurized disc fragment that was pinching a nerve.

It was his fifth back surgery overall and the first since his spinal fusion in April 2017.

The Masters is April 8-11, and when asked if he would be there during the CBS telecast, Woods replied, “God, I hope so.”

This is the third time Woods has been involved in a car investigation. The most notorious was the early morning after Thanksgiving in 2009, when his SUV ran over a fire hydrant and hit a tree. That was the start of revelations he had been cheating on his wife with multiple women.

Woods lost major corporate sponsorship, went to a rehabilitation clinic in Mississippi and did not return to golf for five months.

In May 2017, Florida police found him asleep behind the wheel of a car parked awkwardly on the side of the road. He was arrested on a DUI charge and said later he had an unexpected reaction to prescription medicine for his back pain. Woods later pleaded guilty to reckless driving and checked into a clinic to get help with prescription medication and a sleep disorder.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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