An investigation into the February crash that seriously injured Tiger Woods found the great golfer was traveling almost double the posted speed limit on Hawthorne Boulevard on the Palos Verdes peninsula.
But officials said they would not quote Woods for speeding, even though the investigation found he was going over 80 mph in a 45 mph zone.
Investigators looked at the SUV’s advanced data systems to determine that Woods had reached speeds of up to 87 mph at the time of the crash at Rolling Hills Estates. Authorities said Woods was accelerating down the steep incline on the north side, sometimes surprising drivers oblivious to their increasing momentum. Woods struck the median, then a Rolling Hills sign, then the west sidewalk before hitting a tree 71 feet from the roadway.
When the airbags were triggered, the SUV’s event data recorder recorded pre- and post-impact speeds of 82.02 mph to 86.99 mph.
Here is what we know:
Q: Why is it not quoted?
James C. Powers, captain of the Lomita Sheriff’s Station, said data from Wood’s SUV was not enough to quote Woods with speeding tickets. He said the act had to be witnessed by a law enforcement officer, which is required for a citation.
“This is a solo collision,” LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said. “We are not going to issue a citation for an offense without the presence of a peace officer. It would apply to everyone. Villanueva said any suggestion that Woods received special treatment “is false.”
Dmitry Gorin, a former Los Angeles deputy district attorney, said the SUV’s “black box” data – which officials said showed speeding – could be used as evidence to generate a ticket. But in practice, he said, law enforcement agencies need some sort of witness to issue a speeding ticket.
Additionally, Gorin said he was not aware of a case where a speeding ticket was issued only with data from a vehicle’s black box.
Q: Where does that leave the case?
The sheriff’s department says he’s now finished his job.
The ministry concluded that there was no probable reason to obtain a search warrant for Woods’ blood samples at the hospital. Powers said there was no evidence of Woods’ use of alcohol, drugs or prescription medications.
“There was no evidence of any impairment,” Powers said. “There was no smell of alcohol. There are no open containers in the vehicle, no narcotics or proof of medication in the vehicle or on his person. ”
He added that, in a subsequent emergency room interview, Woods said he had not used any drugs or medication at the time of the crash.