Tiger Woods sustained multiple leg injuries and had surgery on Tuesday after being involved in a car rollover accident near Los Angeles.
The 45-year-old was the driver of the vehicle and the only occupant, the authorities said.
Woods underwent emergency surgery to repair significant damage to his right leg and ankle, his team said in a statement posted on his Twitter account late Tuesday evening.
Woods’ team said in the statement that the golfer was “awake, responsive and restful in his hospital room” after the surgery at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.
Woods, a 15-time grand winner, is one of the best-equipped golfers of all time (82 career wins). His last big win at The Masters in 2019 was his first in 10 years.
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Find the latest information on the accident and the condition of Woods here. d
Details of the Tiger Woods car accident
The LA County’s Sheriff’s Department responded to a 911 call about a rollover at 7:12 a.m. PT on the Rolling Hills Estates-Rancho Palos Verdes border. The vehicle had driven north on Hawthorne Boulevard and suffered great damage.
Videos and photos of the crash site showed a mutilated SUV with its front end destroyed and airbags deployed.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the crash occurred on “a winding, steep section of Hawthorne Boulevard, a main road that crosses the Palos Verdes Peninsula.” Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva told reporters that accidents in the area are common due to the slope and curve of the road.
CRASH SITE MAP:Updates and scene of the accident
“We have to assume that they made that call almost immediately as soon as it happened, as the neighbors are there exactly 50 feet from the location,” said Villanueva. “If you haven’t seen it, you heard it. Because it literally happened right on your doorstep.”
Residents of the house alerted authorities, and the sheriff’s department responded at 7:18 a.m. when Deputy Carlos Gonzalez first reached Woods. The Los Angeles County Fire Department came to him 10 minutes later after being dropped off from Station 106 at 7:22 am, Fire Chief Daryl Osby said.
Villanueva said at the time there is no reason to believe that impairment or weather were factors in the crash. He said Woods was wearing his seat belt, adding that an investigation into the accident could take days or even weeks.
Were the “jaws of life” used?
No. While early reports said the Jaws of Life – hydraulic tools used to pry or cut off wrecked cars – were being used, the rescue team actually opted for more traditional devices: an ax and a lever bar.
“The Jaws of Life were out there,” Department spokesman Christopher Thomas told USA TODAY Sports, “but basically they ripped out the windshield.”
Woods was released from the vehicle via the backboard, Osby said.
How first responders found Tiger Woods after a crash
Gonzalez said Woods could not stand or get out of the vehicle. He was conscious and able to speak, and appeared “calm and clear,” said Gonzalez.
Gonzalez asked Woods his name first and he replied “Tiger”. Gonzalez recognized him immediately, he said. Gonzalez was wearing his body camera and it was on when he found Woods.
Osby said he was told that Woods had serious injuries to both legs. He added that due to the nature of the accident and the fact that Woods was released from the vehicle, he met the criteria to be rushed to the nearest trauma center, Harbor UCLA Hospital.
Tiger Woods injuries
A statement was posted on Wood’s Twitter account late Tuesday evening: “We thank everyone for the overwhelming support and news during this difficult time. As previously reported, Tiger was involved in a car accident this morning in California after being hospitalized , he underwent long operations on his right lower leg and ankle.
“He is currently awake, reacting, and recovering in his hospital room. Thank you to the wonderful doctors and hospital staff at Harbor UCLA Medical Center, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, and the Fire Department. Your support and assistance has been tremendous.” “
Anish Mahajan, chief medical officer and interim CEO of Harbor UCLA Medical Center, said in the statement that Woods had multiple open fractures affecting both the upper and lower portions of his right tibia and fibula, the two main bones in the lower leg. The bones were stabilized “by inserting a rod into the tibia,” he added.
Woods also sustained injuries to the bones in his right foot and ankle, which were stabilized with screws and pins, and to muscles and soft tissues in the leg. Mahajan said doctors would have to surgically “loosen the covering of the muscles to relieve pressure from swelling”.
“Mr. Woods sustained significant orthopedic injuries to his lower right extremity treated by orthopedic trauma specialists during emergency surgery at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, a level 1 trauma center,” Mahajan said.
Tiger Woods’ road to recovery
Age – Woods is 45 – plays a role in recovery. Woods, a world-class athlete with access to elite medical care, and his legendary work ethic should help.
Still, according to doctors, Woods seems to have a long way to go in recovery.
“The fractures themselves are sure to take months and months to heal – at least a year in the sense that he would ever be able to meaningfully return to the (PGA) Tour,” said Dr. Robert Glatter Emergency Physician at Lennox Hill Hospital in New York City, USA TODAY Sports told.
Doctors attribute the safety belt to saving Tiger Woods’ life
Years ago, this type of rollover accident would almost certainly have been fatal.
“There is something to watch out for,” said Dr. Sam Hawkins, a trauma surgeon at Staten Island Hospital, told USA TODAY Sports. “This type of car accident would have been fatal ten to decades ago or would have guaranteed serious injuries.”
“(It is) to the design of the vehicle and the way in which the accident happened,” said Glatter. “Again he’s pretty happy to be alive, that’s the takeaway news right now.”
Tiger Woods hosted the Genesis Invitational in California
Woods lives in Jupiter, Florida, but was in Southern California over the weekend for the Genesis Open, a tournament hosted by his foundation at the Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades. After the finals, he presented winner Max Homa with a trophy.
Actor David Spade and retired NBA legend Dwyane Wade posted on social media about playing golf with Woods on Monday.
Tiger Woods had a back operation in December
Shortly after playing in the PNC Championship with his son Charlie, Woods underwent back surgery in December – a microdiscectomy to remove a pressurized disc fragment – that prevented him from playing this season. He said to Jim Nantz of CBS during the final round on Sunday, “I’m fine. I’m a little stiff. I have another MRI planned … then I can start doing more activity.”
What kind of car did Tiger Woods drive?
Photos and footage of the SUV Woods drove feature a “Genesis Invitational” logo on the side of the vehicle. A Genesis spokesman said Woods drove the GV80, the only SUV under Genesis – a luxury brand sold by Hyundai.
Featuring: Tom Schad, Josh Peter, Nathan Bomey, Mike Freeman; Associated Press