RANCHO PALOS VERDES, CA — Golf legend Tiger Woods was recovering in a hospital Wednesday after suffering serious injuries from a rollover crash near Rancho Palos Verdes.
Woods and his team released a statement via Twitter late Tuesday night from the hospital, where he was awake and responsive after undergoing a long surgical procedure on his lower right leg and ankle.
“We thank everyone for the overwhelming support and messages during this tough time,” according to the statement.
“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 outstanding.”
Anish Mahajan, MD, chief medical officer and interim CEO at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, also shared what happened to Woods and his injuries.
“Mr. Woods suffered significant orthopedic injuries to his right lower extremity that were treated during emergency surgery by orthopedic trauma specialists at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, a level 1 trauma center. Comminuted open fractures affecting both the upper and lower portions of the tibia and fibula bones were stabilized by inserting a rod into the tibia. Additional injuries to the bones of the foot and ankle were stabilized with a combination of screws and pins. Trauma to the muscle and soft-tissue of the leg required surgical release of the covering of the muscles to relieve pressure due to swelling.”
“There are no further updates at this time and we continue to thank you for your well-wishes and privacy for him and his family,” the tweet said.
Woods was alone in the SUV when it crashed into a raised median, crossed two oncoming lanes and rolled over several times. Woods was trapped inside the wreckage, which was reported around 7:12 a.m. Tuesday, officials from Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said in a news conference.
Firefighters used an ax and other tools to pull the 45-year-old from the SUV through the windshield, officials said. Woods was taken to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, where he underwent surgery for multiple leg injuries. No other vehicles were involved.
Woods was not able to stand on his feet following the crash, Deputy Carlos Gonzalez said.
“It’s very fortunate that Tiger Woods was able to come out of this alive,” Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez was the first to arrive at the crash and found him seated in the vehicle, wearing a seat belt, he said.
He was stable but had serious injuries. The seatbelt helped save his life, Gonzalez added.
“I kept Mr. Woods calm until L.A. County fire arrived on scene,” Gonzalez said. “He told me his name was Tiger, and at that point I immediately recognized him.”
He was found bleeding but conscious, Los Angeles County Fire Department Chief Daryl Osby said.
No evidence of impairment was found at the crash, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Alex Villanueva said. The SUV was towed to Lomita where it will be examined during the ongoing investigation.
During an Instagram and Facebook Live Wednesday, Villanueva said the department is not considering charges of any kind against Tiger Woods. At most, the investigation could lead to an infraction if it’s determined Woods was on his cell phone or distracted in some other way, the sheriff says. Investigators have not yet pulled a “black box” from the damaged SUV to determine how fast Woods was traveling when the crash occurred.