Golf Star Tiger Woods Involved in Gruesome Car Accident


Keith Allison

Tiger Woods approaches a shot at the Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland on July 4, 2007. One of golf’s most recognizable stars, Woods was involved in a brutal car crash on Tuesday, Feb. 23. Photo courtesy of Keith Allison.

American professional golfer Tiger Woods was driving in Rancho Palos Verdes, near Los Angeles, on Tuesday, Feb. 23, when his SUV crossed a median and diverged into two other lanes before hitting a curb, a tree, and then landing on its side in a bush. Woods sustained many injuries which required a rod, screws, and pins to stabilize his leg. 

“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-one trauma center,” chief medical officer and interim chief executive of Harbor-UCLA Medical Center Dr. Anish Mahajan said in a statement posted on Woods’ Twitter account on Wednesday, Feb. 24. “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 the surgical release of the covering of the muscles to relieve pressure due to swelling.”

Authorities believe that this incident was an accident, and they will have more information after looking at the black box event recorder from Woods’ vehicle. When taken into the hospital, Woods said he did not remember the incident. Investigators have stated that Woods will not be charged for this incident.

“We don’t contemplate any charges whatsoever in this crash,” Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said Wednesday, Feb. 24 in a Facebook Live chat. “This remains an accident. An accident is not a crime. They do happen, unfortunately.”

This isn’t the first time Woods has undergone surgery. In his 25-year professional golf career, Woods underwent five back surgeries in addition to surgery to repair his left knee and leg. These surgeries, as well as his age, will play a lingering role in his recovery.

“That doesn’t seem that old, but if you’ve had these multiple surgeries they take their toll over time,” Dr. John Torress said to Golf News on Wednesday, Feb. 24. “So, his recovery is going to be slower because of his age but also going to be more cumbersome because of all the other surgeries including that back surgery he’s still recovering from. Putting all those together it really complicates the picture going forward.”

Woods is said to be responsive and recovering in his hospital room. No hospital recovery prognosis has been released to the public yet. Dr. Gregory Tennant, an orthopedic surgeon at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Fontana, told the Los Angeles Times that Woods is in good hands at Harbor-UCLA and that he is experienced with similar types of injuries. He is optimistic about Woods’ future endeavors in golf.

“Tiger Woods has been a winner his whole life, and one thing I’ve learned is that you don’t bet against winners,” Dr. Tennant said. “You don’t bet against Michael Jordan. You don’t bet against Tiger Woods.”