Tiger Woods reportedly told police who responded to the accident that left him with a shattered leg that he couldn’t remember driving and was unsure how the crash happened.
The golf legend said the same thing later at a hospital, according to a copy of an affidavit for a search warrant used to obtain the SUV’s “black box” obtained by USA Today Sports.
The affidavit said Woods, 45, was initially unconscious inside the loaner 2021 Genesis GV80, which had veered across the median on Hawthorne Boulevard in Rancho Palos Verde, California, and crashed Feb. 23, according to USA Today.
“The deputies asked him how the collision occurred,” according to the affidavit submitted by LA County Sheriff’s Deputy Johann Schoegl, the news outlet reported.
“Driver said he did not know and did not even remember driving… Driver was treated for his injuries at the hospital and was asked there again how the collision occurred. He repeated that he did not know and did not remember driving,” it said.
Schloegl said he believed information in the vehicle’s “black box” — including the speed at the time of the crash — would help to determine how and why the accident occurred, according to the affidavit.
The data “constitutes evidence that tends to show the commission of a felony or misdemeanor offense,” according to the form filled out to obtain the warrant, according to USA Today.
But LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva has said the probe is not a criminal investigation.
“The investigators in the accident, or in the collision, they did a search warrant to seize in essence the black box of the vehicle,” Villanueva said Wednesday.
“And that’s all it is. And they’re going to go through it and see if they can find out what was the performance of the vehicle, what was happening at the time of impact. And with that, they’ll have more information they can attribute the cause of the accident. And that’s all it is, and we’ll leave it at that, OK?”
The sheriff also addressed why his department did not seek a warrant to obtain a sample of Woods’ blood that could be used to determine whether someone was impaired by alcohol or drugs.
“In order to seek a search warrant, you have to have evidence of impairment,” said Villanueva, who had previously said there was no evidence Woods was impaired when he crashed.
“Absent the evidence of impairment … you’re not going to get a search warrant. It’s not getting signed by the judge. And investigators will determine what is needed to determine the accident, or the traffic collision,” he said, according to USA Today.
On Thursday, TMZ reported that law enforcement sources said the possible offense Woods may have committed was misdemeanor reckless driving.
The legendary golfer broke several bones in his lower right leg and is still recovering in the hospital.
A forensic car expert had told USA Today that it appeared Woods was not paying attention in the moments before the devastating crash.
Villanueva said Woods is “in good spirits,” adding that “hopefully he’ll get himself back on his feet some point down the road.”