Tiger Woods didn’t know how badly he was hurt after crash, deputy says

A crane is used to lift Tiger Woods' vehicle
A crane is used to lift Tiger Woods’ vehicle on the Palos Verdes Peninsula Tuesday.
(Ringo H.W. Chiu / Associated Press)

Tiger Woods likely owes his life to his seat belt, his airbags and the improved safety of modern vehicles, according to the L.A. County Sheriff’s deputy who was first on the scene of the golfer’s Tuesday morning car crash on the Palos Verdes Peninsula.

Deputy Carlos Gonzalez, who arrived just six minutes after a neighbor called 911, said Woods was conscious and calm and didn’t seem to know how badly he was hurt.

“I don’t think he was aware of how gravely he was injured at the time. It could be a mixture of adrenaline, it could’ve been shock,” Gonzalez said Wednesday on the “Today” show. “Again it was very quick, the moment that I arrived from the moment that he rolled over, so I don’t know if he had time to fully assess his injuries.”


Tiger Woods’ catastrophic crash in Los Angeles has cast a spotlight on the low-budget documentary series that featured golf’s biggest star.

Feb. 24, 2021

Woods, who’s the subject of a new HBO docuseries, underwent extensive emergency surgery on his lower right leg and ankle, which was stabilized with a rod, screws and pins, according to a statement posted late Tuesday on the golfer’s Twitter account.

The trauma surgeons at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, a level 1 trauma facility, also reduced pressure in the muscle and soft tissue of the leg.

“There are no further updates at this time and we continue to thank you for your well-wishes and privacy for him and his family,” Tuesday’s statement added.

Gonzalez said he considered trying to extricate Woods from the Genesis SUV loaner by himself but opted to wait for properly trained and equipped firefighters to arrive.


“Mr. Woods seemed calm, he didn’t seem like he was in distress, and he was able to kind of talk to me a little bit, and I noticed the passenger compartment seemed mostly intact and he didn’t seem like he was in any further danger,” the deputy said.

After Tiger Woods’ car crash Tuesday, celebs and sports figures such as Alex Rodriguez, Jada Pinkett Smith, Cher and Magic Johnson tweeted their well wishes.

Feb. 23, 2021

He said he tried to keep Woods calm and talking.

“I have a lot of sympathy for Mr. Woods,” Gonzalez said, “because I’m sure he’s going through something very traumatic, and I’m sure he’s going through a lot of pain, so I’m hoping for a speedy recovery for him.”