- The Washington Times
Wednesday, March 3, 2021

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department executed a search warrant to retrieve and examine the black box from the SUV involved in the single-car rollover accident that left golfer Tiger Woods seriously injured.

Investigators executed the warrant Monday, and there was “no additional information regarding the recovered data” on Wednesday, Deputy Trina Schrader told NBC News in a statement.

According to USA TODAY, Sheriff’s Deputy John Schloegl said the department routinely executes a warrant to gain information about an accident. The black box can provide insight to the car’s speed, acceleration, steering and braking.

“As far as getting a warrant or getting the download from the car, we just do it automatically,” Schloegl said. “We want answers, so that’s the route we take.”

The department said there was no probable cause to request a warrant to sample Woods’ blood to determine if he may have been under the influence at the time of the Feb. 23 accident. Shortly after the crash, Sheriff Alex Villanueva said the legendary golfer showed no signs of impairment.

To get a warrant for the black box, though, the department needs to prove there’s probable cause of a crime, even if it’s a misdemeanor offense. Schloegl said law enforcement was doing its due diligence to fully investigate Woods’ accident.

But Villanueva on Feb. 24 said “an accident is not a crime … They do happen, unfortunately.”

He doubled down on that stance Wednesday, maintaining that the warrant is not part of a criminal investigation but rather a routine probe into the cause of an accident.

“They’ll have more information they can attribute the cause of the accident,” he said. “And that’s all it is, and we’ll leave it at that, OK?’’

Woods crashed Feb. 23 near Los Angeles. His SUV hit a curb, rolled over multiple times and came to a rest off the roadway. He suffered multiple leg injuries but first responders described Woods as lucid when they arrived.

However, according to a search warrant affidavit obtained by USA TODAY, Woods was unconscious with blood on his face and chin when a resident first found the golfer. 

Woods told deputies that he couldn’t remember driving or how he crashed.

Woods was taken to a nearby hospital, where he underwent lengthy surgery to stabilize his leg after suffering a comminuted open fracture. 

Pins and screws were used to stabilize his foot and ankle.

On Feb. 26, a statement tweeted from Woods’ account said the 82-time PGA Tour winner had been moved from Harbor-UCLA Medical Center to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. His follow-up procedures were successful, and he was “recovering and in good spirits,” the statement read.

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