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Concerning facts emerge in Tiger Woods’ crash investigation

Tiger
Tiger Woods pauses while speaking to the media after he withdrew after nine holes during the first round of The Players Championship golf tournament Thursday May 12, 2011 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

Following a bone-shattering single-car rollover crash on Feb. 23, new evidence obtained from the “black box” inside the vehicle Tiger Woods’ drove off the road reveals concerning information about the incident. The golfer reportedly did not apply pressure to the brakes before the incident and did not let up on the gas.

The early reports indicate that Woods did not decelerate and try to prevent the crash once he lost control of the Hyundai SUV but that the golf legend was not speeding before the wreck, of which he has no memory. According to TMZ, Woods was reportedly driving “normally” but the evidence indicates that he was accelerating and speeding before losing control. Tiger was recovering from back surgery at the time of the crash and suffered serious leg injuries. Law enforcement sources say he also suffered a “big gash” on his chin from the impact.

Some crash investigators speculate that Woods may have fallen asleep at the wheel, but Sheriff Alex Villanueva said there was no evidence he was impaired by prescription drugs or alcohol.
However, law enforcement did not obtain a warrant to draw blood and test for medications or other intoxicants. The only warrant issued was for the vehicle’s black box.

“The deputy at the scene assessed the condition of Tiger Woods and there was no evidence of any impairment whatsoever,” Villanueva said. “He was lucid, no odor of alcohol, no evidence of any medication, narcotics or anything like that would bring that into question. So that was not a concern at the time. So therefore, obviously no field sobriety test and no DRE.”

Some investigators have postulated that the prescription sleep aid, Ambien, could have led to the crash. USA Today Sports spoke to multiple experts about the incident, who said a medical emergency or other medicines could have been the cause. However, Charles Schack, a former New Hampshire state police trooper who is now president of Crash Experts, suggested that Woods’ history with Ambien could possibly explain why he never hit the brakes. “But I know where you look at the prior conduct and suspect there may be something else here at play,” Schack said.

While the investigation continues, Woods released a statement on Twitter revealing that he was back home on Jupiter Island after stints at two different L.A. hospitals. He thanked the medical professionals that cared for him, as well as the fans who offered support.

“Happy to report that I am back home and continuing my recovery,” Woods’ statement said. “I am so grateful for the outpouring of support and encouragement that I have received over the past few weeks. Thank you to the incredible surgeons, doctors, nurses, and staff at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. You have all taken such great care of me and I cannot thank you enough. I will be recovering at home and working on getting stronger every day.”