Golfing legend Tiger Woods has been hospitalized with injuries to his legs following a car crash in Los Angeles, the LA County sheriff and Woods’ agent confirmed on Tuesday.
Woods, 45, was conscious, lucid and communicating but not able to stand when emergency personnel pried him from his vehicle, Sheriff Alex Villanueva said at a press conference.
Though the sheriff’s department initially released a statement that the “jaws of life” were used to extricate him, the Los Angeles County Fire Department later corrected that to note he was actually removed using a pry bar and an ax.
“It was a very serious injury in that it met trauma center criteria, but it wasn’t so serious that he needed to be transferred to the nearest hospital for immediate life-saving procedures,” said Fire Chief Daryl Osby, noting that Woods was brought to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. Earlier, the fire department had characterized his injuries as “moderate to critical.”
Woods’ vehicle, a 2021 Genesis SUV, traveled several hundred feet off the road in the crash, Villanueva said. Woods showed “no evidence of impairment,” but law enforcement is conducting an investigation into the circumstances of the crash that may take several weeks.
The one-car crash occurred Tuesday around 7:12 a.m. local time on the border of Rolling Hills Estates and Rancho Palos Verdes. Woods’ vehicle sustained major damage. The accident might have been fatal had Woods not been wearing a seatbelt and had the interior of the vehicle not stayed intact and provided cushioning for his body, Villanueva said.
The winding stretch of road where Woods crashed is a common site for accidents, the sheriff added.
Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg said the star suffered multiple leg injuries. Early Wednesday, an update on Woods’ condition was posted on Twitter. He is reportedly “awake, responsive and recovering”:
Woods, who lives in Florida, was in California for a two-day content shoot with Golf Digest/GOLFTV. He was also there to host the PGA Tour’s Genesis Invitational this past weekend.
Woods, who is tied for first in career PGA Tour wins and holds several other golf records, has been unable to play recently due to back surgery. He had said Sunday that he had just “one more MRI scheduled.”
Updated Feb. 24, 2021: This story was updated with a tweet about Tiger Woods’ condition following surgery.