Woods sustained serious injuries in the Feb.23 crash when he hit a raised midline around 7 a.m. at Rolling Hills Estates, just outside Los Angeles. The Genesis SUV he was driving crossed two oncoming lanes and uprooted a tree in a downhill which police say is known for its wreckage. Woods is recovering from several surgeries in Florida.
Sheriff Alex Villanueva has been criticized for his comments on the crash, calling it a “pure accident” and saying there was no evidence of impairment. Woods told MPs he didn’t know how the crash happened and he didn’t remember driving. unconscious when a witness approached the mutilated SUV for the first time, but the deputy sheriff said the athlete later appeared in shock, but was conscious and able to answer questions from based.
Investigators have not requested a search warrant for Woods’ blood samples, which may be subject to drug and alcohol testing. In 2017, Woods went to a clinic for help treating prescription drugs after a DUI charge in his home state of Florida.
Detectives, however, obtained a search warrant for the data logger of the 2021 Genesis GV80 SUV, known as the black box. Villanueva did not say Wednesday what data was found in the black box.
“A cause has been determined, the investigation is over,” Villanueva said during a social media event Wednesday in response to a question posed by The Associated Press.
But Villanueva claimed investigators needed permission from Woods – who had previously called his yacht “Privacy” – to release information about the crash.
“We contacted Tiger Woods and his staff,” Villanueva said. “There are confidentiality issues when disclosing information about the investigation, so we will ask them if they are waiving confidentiality and then we can make a full publication of all information about the accident. ”
Woods’ agent at Excel Sports, Mark Steinberg, did not immediately respond to an email.
“We have all the content in the black box, we have everything,” Villanueva said. “It is completed, signed, sealed and delivered. However, we cannot publish it without the permission of the people involved in the collision. ”
Villanueva’s statement on privacy issues did not make sense to Joseph Giacalone, a professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice and retired New York Police Department sergeant, who criticized the sheriff’s response to the Woods incident from the start.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a department ask for such permission,” he said. “What if his lawyers say ‘no, you can’t send it now.’ And then, where does that leave us? ”
Giacalone said it was unlikely MPs would have sought permission from not famous victims in similar crashes to release information. If the sheriff’s reluctance stemmed from a potential medical episode while driving, Giacalone said authorities could simply say it was a medical emergency without giving further details.
“I don’t think they would have asked a member of our family if they could get away with this,” he said.
Woods is from the Los Angeles area and was back home to host his PGA tournament, the Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club, which ended two days before the crash. He was driving an SUV loaned to him by the tournament.
Woods never went an entire year without playing, dating back to his first PGA Tour event when he was 16 in high school.
Associated Press golf editor Doug Ferguson has contributed from Jacksonville, Florida.
16: 41ET 31-03-21