Officers at the scene found Woods "calm and lucid," but stuck in the car with injuries.
Golfing champion Tiger Woods is currently on the road to recovery after suffering severe injuries from a one-car accident in Southern California.
As Woods drove down an accident-prone area on the border of Rolling Hills Estates and Rancho Palos Verdes, his Genesis SUV hit the median in the center and wound up on the opposite lane. The vehicle hit a curb and then a tree, after which the vehicle rolled over several times before landing on its side off the road.
Although the front end of the car was "totally destroyed," the airbag was deployed and the golf legend was found calm and lucid, but injured and stuck inside the damaged vehicle.
After the crash took place at around 7:12 am on Tuesday, February 23, authorities arrived to find Woods, who was the only person in the vehicle at the time.
"When I arrived on scene, Mr. Woods was seated in the driver's seat," Deputy Carlos Gonzalez, who was part of the first unit on the scene, told reporters, according to ABC News. "I made contact with him, and I ensured that he was able to speak to me. At that time, he seemed as though he was still calm and lucid."
"I kept Mr. Woods calm... I asked him what his name was. He told me his name was Tiger, and that moment I immediately recognized him," Gonzalez went on to say.
Luckily, Woods was wearing his seat belt and this may have helped lessen the severity of his injuries. Sheriff Alex Villanueva also shared, "Thankfully, the interior was more or less intact, which kind of gave him the cushion to survive what otherwise would have been a fatal crash."
Speaking to CNN, Los Angeles County Fire Chief Daryl Osby revealed that firefighters had to break the windshield of the vehicle with an ax and then use a pry bar to finally extricate Woods from the SUV. Taken to the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center with injuries on both his legs, Woods underwent a long surgery, but had later awoken and was responsive.
Tiger Woods' agent says golfer in surgery with multiple leg injuries after single-car accident in California— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) February 23, 2021
"I will say that it's very fortunate that Mr. Woods was able to come out of this alive, because this is an accident-prone stretch of road," Gonzalez said, as quoted by NBC News. "We've seen a number of accidents on this stretch of roadway."
Sending my prayers to @TigerWoods and his family tonight—here’s to a speedy recovery for the GOAT of golf. If we’ve learned anything over the years, it’s to never count Tiger out.— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) February 24, 2021
Statement from Donald J. Trump, 45th President of the United States of America:— Jason Miller (@JasonMillerinDC) February 23, 2021
“Get well soon, Tiger. You are a true champion!”
Sick to my stomach right now. Praying for @TigerWoods and hoping for an amazing recovery. Thinking about his entire family and team, as all of us are sending our best wishes. We know TW is a fighter. Get well soon 🐅!!!— Justin Thomas (@JustinThomas34) February 23, 2021
Tiger Woods, a golfer, has suffered more injuries to more body parts than most NFL players I've known. If ANYone can come back from today's horrible leg/ankle injuries, and win again, even another major, it is Tiger Woods. All-time mental/physical toughness. Pulling for him.— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) February 24, 2021
On behalf of the 15-time major champion who is considered one of the greatest golfers in history, a statement was released from his Twitter account that thanked people for their "overwhelming support and messages during this tough time."
In order to determine what caused the crash, investigators might take days, maybe even weeks, to find out whether speed or fatigue caused the crash, or whether Woods lost control after the SUV hit something on the road, or whether any other factor was at play.
As Villanueva spoke at a news conference, the officer revealed that officials are still investigating whether distracted driving had anything to do with the accident, according to CNN.
Cover image source: (L) Getty Images | Photo by Mike Ehrmann and (R) ABC News/YouTube Video