Helicopter footage from the scene found the pro golfer’s heavily damaged SUV on its side at the bottom of a hill.
LOS ANGELES (CN) — Golfer Tiger Woods sustained serious leg injuries in a car accident in Los Angeles County on Tuesday morning and underwent surgery according to his agent.
Rescue personnel used a fire ax and other tools to extricate Woods, 45, from his SUV at around 7 a.m. Tuesday, according to the LA County Fire Department. Woods’ vehicle rolled over the side of the Hawthorne Boulevard and down a hillside near the coastal city Rancho Palos Verdes, about 30 miles south of downtown LA. Helicopter footage from the site showed Woods’ vehicle was on its side with its airbags deployed.
Sheriff Alex Villanueva said Woods was traveling northbound when he crossed the center divider at Hawthorne Boulevard. Woods’ 2021 Genesis SUV Woods may have been moving at a high speed, because there were no signs of skid marks on the roadway. The vehicle struck two signs and a tree before it went down the hillside.
While the vehicle’s front end was wrecked Villanueva said the interior remained “cushioned” and that might have saved Woods’ life as the SUV rolled over several times.
“He was alive and he was conscious” when rescue personnel arrived on the scene, Villanueva said. Deputy Carlos Gonzalez said Woods was lucid and Gonzalez tried to keep a conversation flowing between the two of them.
“I asked him for his name and he told me his name was Tiger. Then I immediately recognized him,” Gonzalez said during an afternoon press briefing.
Woods sustained injuries to both of his legs, according to LA County Fire Department Chief Daryl Osby. Emergency officials say there was no immediate sign of impairment and investigators will work to determine the cause of the crash.
Woods’ agent, Mark Steinberg, told news outlets his client suffered “multiple” leg injuries in the crash.
“He is currently in surgery,” Steinberg said in a statement to Golf Digest. “He is currently in surgery and we thank you for your privacy and support.”
Woods turned pro at the age of 20, breaking color barriers in the sport. He went on to win the Masters Tournament at the age of 21. Woods’ name has become synonymous with golf and he stands as one of the top leaders among the PGA Tour. Earlier this week, Woods was in LA for a golf tournament but did not play because he is recovering from his fifth back surgery.
He explained to a CBS announcer that he hoped to be back on the links in time for the Masters tournament in April.
“A lot of it is based on my surgeons and doctors and therapist and making sure I do it correctly. This is the only back I’ve got; I don’t have much more wiggle room left,” Woods said during interview on Sunday.
His representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Woods’ condition.
The crash on Tuesday is not Woods’ first incident involving a vehicle.
In May 2017, he was found asleep in his car in a traffic lane in Jupiter Island, Florida by local police. He later pleaded guilty to reckless driving.