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Tiger Woods Was Conscious When Officers Responded to Crash, First Deputy on the Scene Reveals

People logo People 2/24/2021 Gabrielle Chung
Tiger Woods that is standing in the grass: Tiger Woods has been hospitalized following a serious car crash in California on Tuesday © Splash News. Inset: getty images Tiger Woods has been hospitalized following a serious car crash in California on Tuesday

Tiger Woods was conscious and speaking — but was unable to get up — when deputies arrived at the scene of his car crash in California, according to authorities.

In a press conference on Tuesday afternoon, Los Angeles County officials released new details regarding the roll-over car accident that left the 45-year-old golfer hospitalized.

The crash occurred on the border of Rolling Hills Estates around 7:12 a.m. when Woods' 2020 Genesis GV80 SUV was traveling northbound and downhill on Hawthorne Boulevard, according to L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva.

For more on Tiger Woods' car accident, listen below to the episode of PEOPLE Every Day.

The car struck a sign and "traveled several hundred feet from the center divider," shearing through a tree before landing in the brush alongside the road with "major damage," Villanueva said. There were no signs the sportsman was able to break before he crashed.

a car on a dirt road: Splash News Scene of car crash © Provided by People Splash News Scene of car crash

RELATED: Tiger Woods Injured in Roll-Over Car Accident in California, Undergoing Surgery

"He was alive and he was conscious, and that's the extent of that," Villanueva said of Woods' condition when deputies first arrived on scene. "There was no evidence of impairment."

Emergency workers had to use a halligan tool and axe to extricate Woods, who was in "stable condition with serious injuries," from the wreckage, L.A. County Fire Department chief Daryl L. Osby told reporters.

"It was brought to my attention that he had serious leg injuries and that was assessed at the incident," Osby said. "There were no other life endangering injuries to my knowledge."

a group of people standing next to a truck: splash news Scene at car crash © Provided by People splash news Scene at car crash

RELATED: Lindsey Vonn Says She's 'Praying' for Ex Tiger Woods as Other Stars React to News of His Car Crash

According to L.A. County Sheriff's Deputy Carlos Gonzalez, who was first to arrive on scene, Woods "was not able to stand under his own power."

"He was able to speak to me. At that time, he seemed as though he was calm and lucid," Gonzalez said of Woods' condition at first assessment.

"I spoke to him. I asked him what his name was. He told me his name was Tiger, and at that moment, I immediately recognized him."

The deputy said despite his serious injuries the golfer, perhaps due to shock, did not seem concerned by his injuries at the time.

 "It's a traumatic experience. It's not uncommon for people to be focused on unimportant things or even if they are in pain, they may not feel it until much later," the deputy, who has seen a number of serious car accidents said.

Gonzalez noted that Woods was wearing a seat belt but was placed on a backboard when he was rescued.

"It is very fortunate that Mr. Woods was able to come out of this alive," Gonzalez said.

Tiger Woods wearing a hat © Provided by People Tiger Woods

RELATED: Dwyane Wade Shared Photos, Video from Golf Outing with Tiger Woods Ahead of Crash News

Woods was then transported to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center due to the nature of his injuries, which Osby said "met trauma center criteria."

During the press conference, Villanueva noted that Woods' vehicle was traveling at "relatively greater speed than normal" down a curved area that "has a high frequency of accidents."

According to officials, the interior of the car was "more or less intact," though front end was destroyed.

For more on Tiger Woods' car accident, listen below to the episode of PEOPLE Every Day.

In an earlier statement issued to PEOPLE, Woods' agent Mark Steinberg said, "Tiger Woods was in a single-car accident this morning in California where he suffered multiple leg injuries. He is currently in surgery and we thank you for your privacy and support."

The PGA Tour also issued a statement about Woods' accident, saying, "We have been made aware of Tiger Woods' car accident today. We are awaiting further information when he comes out of surgery. On behalf of the PGA TOUR and our players, Tiger is in our prayers and will have our full support as he recovers."


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