Tiger Woods sustains significant injuries during a really awful SUV crash

Tiger Woods in Tokyo

Tiger Woods was in a terrible car accident yesterday in California. He survived the crash and it does not sound like his injuries are life-threatening, but his injuries do sound career-ending. It also sounds like Tiger was very lucky to survive the crash and it could have been much, much worse if he had not been wearing his seatbelt, or if his SUV had landed differently. This is the second big car accident for Tiger – everyone remembers his first, in 2009, just as the stories about his affairs were breaking. In the 2009 crash, Tiger’s wife used one of his golf clubs to break the windows to get to him. In this accident, they had to use a halligan tool and an axe to extricate him.

Tiger Woods was conscious and speaking — but was unable to get up — when deputies arrived at the scene of his car crash in California, according to authorities. In a press conference on Tuesday afternoon, Los Angeles County officials released new details regarding the roll-over car accident that left the 45-year-old golfer hospitalized.

The crash occurred on the border of Rolling Hills Estates around 7:12 a.m. when Woods’ 2020 Genesis GV80 SUV was traveling northbound and downhill on Hawthorne Boulevard, according to L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva. The car struck a sign and “traveled several hundred feet from the center divider,” shearing through a tree before landing in the brush alongside the road with “major damage,” Villanueva said. There were no signs the sportsman was able to brake before he crashed.

“He was alive and he was conscious, and that’s the extent of that,” Villanueva said of Woods’ condition when deputies first arrived on scene. “There was no evidence of impairment.”

Emergency workers had to use a halligan tool and axe to extricate Woods, who was in “stable condition with serious injuries,” from the wreckage, L.A. County Fire Department chief Daryl L. Osby told reporters. “It was brought to my attention that he had serious leg injuries and that was assessed at the incident,” Osby said. “There were no other life endangering injuries to my knowledge.”

Woods was then transported to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center due to the nature of his injuries, which Osby said “met trauma center criteria.” During the press conference, Villanueva noted that Woods’ vehicle was traveling at “relatively greater speed than normal” down a curved area that “has a high frequency of accidents.” According to officials, the interior of the car was “more or less intact,” though front end was destroyed.

[From People]

I don’t know why anyone needs to be briefed about the state of the SUV? The thing is totaled and Tiger can buy a new one quite easily. But he should absolutely invest in a car a driver at this point. In addition to everything else, Tiger had his FIFTH back surgery in December, and a few days before the accident, he was telling people that he had not been practicing much and that he probably wouldn’t play the Masters. And that was before his “shattered ankle” and two leg fractures sustained in this accident. You can read more about his injuries here, and Tiger’s already been through a lengthy surgery to insert a rod into his tibia.

TENNIS : US Open 2019  - USA - 03/09/2019

Golf: Masters Tournament

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

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77 Responses to “Tiger Woods sustains significant injuries during a really awful SUV crash”

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  1. Izzy says:

    The media were really hyping the “couldn’t stand up on his own” part. He had two beoken legs and a shattered ankle. Did they expect him to run a marathon?

  2. Wiglet Watcher says:

    When rods and screws are inserted into your bone and you get into accidents it only makes for a worse injury every time. It never saves your skeletal system. And the long term recovery… a nightmare.

    Tiger speeds and crashes a fair amount. We only hear about the major ones nation wide. I k ow it was the morning, but wonder if pills were a factor again.

    • Sequinedheart says:

      Maybe – if he only recently had back surgery and was on pain meds but they said speed and that stretch of road is a hotspot for accidents and more importantly: he left the hotel dangerously fast (almost hitting someone exiting valet) because he was meant to be at a golf course and hour away in 30 mins…. so yeah.

      • Lizzythe2 says:

        Rushing never leads to good. Also it’s been reported that there has been a rise in traffic accidents due to the pandemic. With traffic way down people have been speeding up, the result is more accidents. I myself passed one last summer. It was a single car accident and I could not figure out how this occurred, the car had flipped over. That stretch of road is pretty calm. I suspect the person was going too fast because in my area many things were still closed during that time and I didn’t see many cars on the road that day. During that time period it was still creepy to be out because it was so empty out there.

    • Julie says:

      He’s in recovery for his recurrent back surgeries so it’s possible he was pilled up. But I think it’s more than that because I do see sociopathic traits in the guy. Not murderous sociopathy. Think Fortune 500 CEOs or Michael Schumacher, Micheal Jordan etc. They just have very little to no risk aversion. Strong sense of entitlement. Little concern for others. Defiance of social rules. If they experience fear, I don’t think it’s at the same levels as average people. Those traits are obviously why he was able to defy the odds in a system built to keep him out. But sometimes those traits just do not serve him. This is yet another example.

    • MF1 says:

      Police at the scene of the accident reported that they saw no signs of “impairment,” i.e. drug or alcohol use.

      • whatWHAT? says:

        and police are always so honest in their reporting, aren’t they?


        sorry for the snark, but just because a cop said it doesn’t make it true. it’s documented that they’ll go easy or hard on you, depending on how they feel about you. there are instances where they’ve driven a drunk cop or celeb home from a DUI wreck to cover for them. and a celeb like Woods? it’s absolutely possible (and likely) that they looked the other way on any impairment that existed. IF it did.

    • Lucy says:

      I wondered that too. He got arrested a few years ago in Florida, he was asleep in his car on the side of the road. It was around 7 am and he was on too many pain pills. I hope he’s sober.

  3. Faithmobile says:

    Oy! This is heartbreaking. Golf is already so hard on the body.

  4. Piratewench says:

    Dude needs to stop getting behind the wheel before he kills someone. I hope he has a full recovery. This is very sad and scary, and it needs to stop already.

    • Miranda says:

      Yeah, he can afford a driver. This is entering “Harrison Ford probably shouldn’t be flying planes anymore” territory.

      • Steph says:

        I’m an ahole for saying this, but I lack sympathy. He’s been in mad accidents. Clearly driving isn’t his thing and he needs to stop. He was speeding on a downhill curved street. I’m just happy nobody else was involved.

      • Hotsauceinmybag says:

        @steph I feel quite similar to you. He’s really fortunate to be “okay” (as in not dead or permanently maimed) and he’s really, really lucky to have not injured or killed anyone else.

        I’m not really a driver (city born and bred, got my license at the ripe age of 29 😂) and learning to drive as an adult has been one hell of a ride. I NEVER speed – hell, I barely speed at all lol – down sharp curves nor do my friends do that, it’s a recipe for disaster.

      • Steph says:

        @hotsauceinmybag I’m a full in city girl too. I got my license at 19 but have renewed it more than I’ve actually driven at the point.

      • gabbygirl2 says:

        I agree, I couldn’t find sympathy for Tiger. For some odd reason , I find him so unrelatable. That said, I wish him well even though after he recuperates, I have a feeling we will hear of more of his life misfortunes.

      • Lady D says:

        I started driving in 1977 and got my license in 1992. In 43 years of careful driving I’ve never had an accident, or been penalized with points and I’ve collected one parking ticket in my driving history. I drove a Ford Explorer for 12 years and put 66,000 miles on it in those 12 years.

  5. The Other Katherine says:

    Reading the detailed description of his injuries on the linked ESPN article (DO NOT READ if you are squeamish), he’s probably going to need significant further surgeries. I hope he eventually makes a good recovery (by which I mean walking without a cane and/or excessive pain) but it will be awhile before his doctors really know how much function he can expect to recover, I think. The accident sounds like he was coming too fast up to a curve at the bottom of a hill, which just seems so avoidable. Even expensive cars are subject to the laws of physics, and you can’t drive an SUV around a curve as fast as a sports car. Sigh.

    • Jaded says:

      Agree – a good friend of mine was in a horrible biking accident and shattered his arm in several places. He had a rod and pins inserted but required several more operations and suffered numerous infections due to his body rejecting the metal. At one point the doctors thought they’d have to amputate. To this day his arm is badly disfigured and atrophied. I’m not saying that this will happen to Tiger but he’s looking at a long recovery and probably won’t play golf professionally again.

  6. Genevieve says:

    It sounds like a horrific crash, and also kind of strange. At first I wondered if he’s still taking pain killers from his last surgery, but maybe he’s just a really bad driver. In any case, I hope he recovers well.

    • vertes says:

      Someone from a photo crew working early this a.m. at the hotel where Tiger was staying said that Tiger was agitated & jumpy this morning because another guest’s vehicle was unloading luggage and blocked his exit lane.

  7. Lucy2 says:

    It sounds like he was lucky to survive. But I can’t imagine how bad of shape he’s probably in, injuries to both legs, and so soon after repeated back surgery. That’s going to be a very long road to recovery.
    I dislocated and broke my ankle a couple years ago, it was brutal, and I can’t imagine that plus other injuries.

    • Hotsauceinmybag says:

      Hey Lucy, this exact thing just happened to my sister, except she had to get surgery to get pins and a plate put in. How was your recovery? She’s super active (broke her ankle playing soccer) and isn’t hopeful for an amazing recovery. I’d like to give her some hope, if that’s possible.

      • lucy2 says:

        I have a plate and about a dozen pins. A couple weeks post surgery, I got a hard cast for 8 weeks, a boot for 8 weeks, and then an air cast and could drive again. I did physical therapy from the time I was in the boot, and keeping up with that is really the key. I felt “normal” around a year after. I still have occasional minor pain, and it’s not as flexible as my other ankle, but overall I consider myself pretty lucky. I had a great surgeron and great PT.
        If your sister is younger (I was 40) in good shape and an athlete, she’ll probably recover great.

      • Hotsauceinmybag says:

        @lucy thank you for your reply! I just shared that with my sister and it made her tear up! She also said “Twinsies”lol

        She just got upgraded to the boot this week. Fingers crossed that it only gets better from here.

  8. MsIam says:

    I have a friend who was in a car accident with multiple fractures in both legs in December. She’s still in a wheelchair, not walking yet. She’s taking therapy and is hopeful but she was saying its been really rough. I wish Tiger the best.

  9. Ang says:

    Here’s my theory: he met up with a woman or women the night before partying, stayed at her hotel (an hour away from the course/events that he was heading to at 7:30) and he barely slept/slept late and got up to head to his events (late, it was already 7) and was speeding to get there. (In the sponsor car he was given for the event). He either just lost control or fell asleep and crashed. And really, to cross the median and lanes without braking (speculation) indicates asleep at the wheel. Just my theory. Pills and alcohol could have been a factor from the previous night.

    • Noodle says:

      At certain angles, the California sun, especially on a clear morning (which we have had in the LA area the past few days), can be brutal at 7am. I drive my kids to school at that hour and there are moments when I have to be extra careful because the sun is directly in my field of vision.

      • MrsRobinson says:

        The rising and setting California sun is brutal and that’s right about the time it’d be blinding. Says he was going north but with a bend in the road…
        I used to have a recurring nightmare about driving a car into the sun and not being able to see where I was going.

      • Noodle says:

        @mrsrobinson, I’ve had way too many close calls with the sun in my eyes. A lot of the time it is from other people who aren’t being as careful as I, and going too fast or not driving for the conditions around them. I can totally understand your fear!

      • Tiffany :) says:

        It’s possible, but considering he almost hit someone when he exited the hotel parking lot, it is more likely he was just driving carelessly.

      • Yonati says:

        When the sun gets in your eyes while you’re driving, you stop. You don’t keep driving, cross the median, etc. Born and raised in Los Angeles.

    • whatWHAT? says:


      this was almost exactly what the bf and I were speculating last night. he initially said “oh, he was probably drunk” to which I responded “but it was 715 am!” to which HE responded…”yeah, and?…”

      the other thing I wanted to comment on was that I’m pretty sure it was leaked/made public somehow that Elin was NOT “rescuing” him from the car accident using a golf club. she had discovered the extent of his philandering (I believe he was sexting with one of them that morning…Thanksgiving, if I recall correctly) and she took the nearest blunt object and smashed his car as he was “fleeing” from her wrath. the initial story was just that, “loving wife rescues poor husband from car after crash” but it was not true.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        Yes, that’s a big distinction! Elin didn’t rescue him, that was the cover story before the truth came out.

      • Kaykay says:

        I don’t blame Elin though.
        Imagine the morning of Thanks Giving, in your own house, your husband is sexting God knows who, with two small children present. One just a few months old, and the other one around two.

        Elin probably went through months of suspicions and built up anger to reach the point where she caught him.

      • whatWHAT? says:

        kaykay, I DO NOT blame her one bit. it must have been quite horrible for her. ONE indiscretion can be hard enough to move past, but he was basically a walking erection, cheating with anything that moved. and NOT using protection? lord only knows what he exposed her to. and then, on the day of a family holiday, you find him sexting with one of them? she must have been devastated.

    • lucy2 says:

      Certainly possible. Or he was just going too fast on an unfamiliar road. I’m sure eventually we’ll know.
      I’m glad he survived and no one else was hurt. There was just a really bad accident in my area recently where someone was speeding (and probably impaired), and 2 teenagers paid the price.

    • Sparky says:

      The booty call theory was my initial thought as well but he wasn’t going to a place an hour away. The Palisades (the place that’s an hour away) tournament was last weekend. He was staying at a hotel (Terranea Resort) in Rancho Palos Verdes which is on the Palos Verdes peninsula and was on his way to Rolling Hills Country Club which is also on the peninsula–maybe 15 minutes away.

      He had been filming stuff for the Golf Digest on Monday and was scheduled to do so on Tuesday as well.

      • Ang says:

        Hmmm, I read something about the event being at the Riviera, which was an hour from the hotel he was coming from. Could have been incorrect initial reporting.

      • Sparky says:

        I just double checked. Per the LA Times, the Riviera event ended on Sunday and he was shooting stuff for Golf Digest on Monday (and scheduled for Tuesday) at the Rolling Hills Country Club.

  10. mtec says:

    Woods has a history of abusing pain medication and getting behind the wheel intoxicated and either falling asleep or getting in accidents (or both). He had back surgery recently and it appears he was speeding but also didn’t seem to react in time to even attempt to break—yet the police officers only thought to “ check for odor of alcohol” but not to actually test him for anything.

    Woods is dangerous behind the wheel, and when cops don’t do their jobs, this is the kind of behaviour that keeps going unchecked and keeps being repeated.

    Another two people got into a wreck because one of them pulled over to help Woods and got rear-ended by another car. Woods is just lucky he didn’t kill someone this time.

    • Chip says:

      Cops probably couldn’t test him at the scene as he was stuck in his vehicle and severely injured. As soon as they freed him, I’m sure he was put into an ambulance. All the cops could do is survey the wreckage.

      I’m sure a tox screen was done at the hospital.

      • HeatherC says:

        And if it was pills and not alcohol, they wouldn’t be able to smell it, and any disorientation/confusion is easy enough to explain away, he was in a car crash with severe leg injuries.

      • mtec says:

        Yes but no tox screen was mentioned, i don’t know if that is a routine thing they do at hospitals after an accident or if the cops would have to request it be done at the hospital as soon as possible.

  11. Chrissy (The Original) says:

    Thank god the kids weren’t in the car with him.

  12. Christin says:

    I’ll take a guess as to why they described the state of the SUV’s interior.

    Many years ago, I was in a similar accident (single SUV multiple rollover – mine due to icy interstate conditions). The end result was exterior damage similar to the Tiger SUV – crushed hood, etc. You can also be injured from glass and interior damage (such as dash and steering wheel). That is how my injuries happened (from glass and impact to the steering wheel in the days before airbags).

    The trail of debris plus the exterior damage gives a clue how it rolled over front to end and then rolled on its side. The top was barely scratched. He is lucky to be alive and able to know what happened. It’s also fortunate that no one else ended up in the SUV’s path.

    • MissMarierose says:

      I also read that if it hadn’t been for the extra safety features in the Genesis, he might not have survived. Apparently, it has a lot more air bags than normal and is designed to kind of come apart upon impact like NASCAR cars, so as to dull the force of the impact inside the cabin.

      • Christin says:

        That makes sense. This accident is a major safety advertisement for a relatively new luxury brand – unless Tiger claims something malfunctioned before the accident.

        My husband was talking about this SUV model over the weekend, due to recent sports-related commercials or golf sponsorships he had seen on TV.

  13. Giddy says:

    A few years ago I fell and broke my ankle. It was just a regular break, none of this stuff about shattered bones, rods, screws etc. Still, the pain was absolutely excruciating, and every big change in the weather brings a painful “remember me?”. All of his money and fame can’t protect him from the pain he will endure, and there are months and years of physical therapy ahead. I wish him the very best.

  14. vegasschmegas says:

    When car companies sponsor golf events, the players are given a car to use for the time of the event (it’s branded with the event info on the side if it). After the event ends, the car companies sell those cars as “driven by Tiger Woods”. He probably wasn’t familiar enough with the Genesis or the road. I hope that’s all it was.

  15. Other Renee says:

    I know this road and area. It’s a winding road but certainly wide enough to travel safely at the proper speed. It’s not like a mountain with hairpin turns. Sun could have been a factor (but at that time of day I’ve only driven uphill in the opposite direction there so I can’t say for sure). But to cross over the median he must have been going incredibly fast. Totally irresponsible with no regard for others. What else is new?

    • Yonati says:

      Exactly @otherRenee – that road is not dangerous with hairpin turns. And when the sun is in your eyes, you put the brakes on. You don’t turn your steering wheel to the left and go over the median.

  16. Petra says:

    Folks sometimes accident just happened. A friend almost had a fetal car accident because he passed a kidney stone while driving. I wish Tiger Wood a full recovery; and peace for his love ones.

    • Ann says:

      The officials are saying there are no plans to charge him with anything. It was an infraction (speeding) but there was no crime involved. Like you said, it was an accident. Now, if someone else had been hurt, that would have been another story I am sure. The luckiest thing about this is that he didn’t hurt someone else.

  17. lucky says:

    This seems so sad to me. I feel like Tiger has some demons and shadows in his world, and I hate that for anyone.

  18. Goshox18 says:

    I hope not, but I have to think pain meds were involved in some way. If you look at his interview on CBS a couple of weeks ago he looked pretty rough. We may eventually get the truth; the hospital would need to know exactly what (if anything) was in his system before they put him under anesthesia.

  19. Amelie says:

    I saw this yesterday, whoa. I’m sure we’ll get more details later but with Tiger’s history, I wouldn’t be surprised if partying, a booty call, alcohol, or drugs were in the mix. I know they said he didn’t seem impaired and maybe he wasn’t. But if he was driving early after a late night of booze and what else… sleep deprivation is considered impairment.

    As for his 2009 accident, the details were so sketchy on that and I don’t believe Elin was trying to rescue him. I remember the original story being she discovered about Tiger’s multiple affairs and was so enraged, she went after him with one of his golf clubs. He escaped in a car to get away from her rage and was probably so panicked, he got into a car accident. It happened in the early morning hours the night after Thanksgiving, and the National Enquirer had just a published the first story in what we would later learn was a string of hookups with multiple women. I reread an article that was published after that accident and there were so many refusals to discuss the accident and why the heck Woods had left his home at 2:30 AM in the morning. It was so clear there was a domestic incident involved with Elin probably learning there were multiple women but as it was just the beginning of that whole scandal, Tiger’s whole team was so sketchy about the details.

  20. linda says:

    My gut reaction is sorrow for him, and I hope he recovers well. Usually I’m super judgy of celebs, but I think he has a lot of trauma from childhood. I think marrying Elin was a huge mistake, because she was a nanny gold-digger. She had no care about his childhood, his demons. The affairs were a perfect exit excuse into a jackpot win for her. Some people like Tiger just need someone to really “get” them and take care of them. I think when she walked out, it started a downward spiral. And it’s totally not her fault or responsibility. But come on, she knew how messed up he was from the beginning, and she still married him. Why would you marry someone who is fragile and has problems and then run out when he messes up? Money!!! Like, just don’t get married in the first place. Please don’t tell me love. Unless you mean love of money. That guy worked like a dog , sacrificed his entire childhood and body to get where he made it in golf. She was a nanny who busted out on him after problems started and collected major bucks. And they were together for what like maybe 7-8 years? Sorry, but she’s bad news.

    • Willow says:

      What? Where did this unnecessary attack come from?

    • BeanieBean says:

      And she has nothing at all to do with this latest accident. He was driving too fast.

    • Ann says:

      This isn’t the time or place to diss Elin. They’ve been apart for years. It’s not her fault he’s a bad and sometimes reckless driver. Look, from what I can tell, the guy has grown a lot as a person after his personal and professional/health problems. He’s bonded with his kids and his fellows pros, he’s humbler and more approachable than before. Everyone is pulling for him to make it out of this OK, including me. But as others have said, he is lucky to be alive, to not have sustained brain injuries, and to have not hurt anyone else. That was a horrific accident.

    • lucy2 says:

      I agree he’s probably got some issues and trauma rooted in childhood, but I think you are completely wrong about Elin, the timeline of their relationship, how and when his issues have manifested, and pretty much all of it. But I guess there’s always someone who wants to blame a woman for a man’s problems.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      “she was a nanny gold-digger. ”

      That’s pretty sexist.

    • Jaded says:

      @linda – you know nothing about Elin. She was no more a gold-digger than I am and your assumption that she is is wrong. She comes from a very rich family so didn’t need to gold-dig her way into money, and her fury was the fury of a woman who was being cheated on repeatedly. Tiger has his demons but they clearly hadn’t come out until that point – he was dedicated to his career. Some people lead double lives and I think that was clearly the case with him. Devoted husband and father on the one hand, philanderer on the other.

      Your statement is cruel, baseless and misogynistic. Oh, by the way, Elin has gone on to have a good relationship with Tiger. She’s put aside the pain of the breakup and apparently they get along very well, especially in sharing their children. She also went on to get a degree in psychology. So your fallacious characterization of her as some manipulative, gold-digging parvenu doesn’t hold water.

    • OliviaJoy1995 says:

      Yeah if my husband has been cheating the entire time we ‘ve been married with MULTIPLE women and paying for their lifestyle (Rachel Uchitel) then yeah, I’m leaving him. Who knows what or who she knew about long before he was outed in 2019 as a serial cheater. That was extremely humiliating not to mention staying with a man who sleeps with multiple women, who knows what he could catch and bring home. I’d hate to be stuck in a marriage where I’m constantly stressed and worried everytime he leaves the house wondering what he could be doing.

    • DeltaJuliet says:

      Wow. Come again?

  21. DaffiestPlot says:

    “Tiger’s wife used one of his golf clubs to break the windows to get to him…”

    If I recall correctly, this was *not* a rescue attempt on her part. 😉

    • HeatherC says:

      Maybe rephrase as “Tiger’s wife used one of his golf clubs to break the window to get AT him”?

  22. sealit says:

    My husband grew up in PV. We often travel down Hawthorn to get pretty much anywhere. The worst accident my husband saw there was a trash truck rolled over to the other side like Tiger but took out whole families traveling the opposite way. I’m glad no one else was hurt and his kids weren’t with him.

  23. Reece says:

    I’m from that area and driving down that highway is no joke. It’s 3miles of downhill curves from top to bottom and only two lights in between. People speed all the time. Not only that, it’s usually foggy up there at this time of year but it’s been super clear in LA the past few days. He is very lucky with the injuries he sustained.
    Also I’ve had similar injuries and was in the same hospital. (I wasn’t driving down the same highway) He is in very good hands there. Even with his money and having the best care possible. It’s going to be a rough recovery. I wish him the best.

  24. jferber says:

    I wonder if anyone would suggest a conservatorship for Tiger Woods or Harrison Ford. Oh, no, I guess not. They’re dudes.

  25. OliviaJoy1995 says:

    Back in 2009 didn’t they say he was driving while under the influence of Ambien?