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The Striking Similarities Between Tiger Woods’ 2009 Car Accident and His Recent DUI

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When Tiger Woods was arrested for DUI on Monday morning, it was a stark reminder of his 2009 car accident that launched a high-profile sex scandal that derailed both his personal and professional life.

For Woods, everything fell apart on November 27, 2009 — the Friday after Thanksgiving. The golfer ran barefoot out of his mansion wearing khaki shorts and a dark blue T-shirt. He got into his Cadillac Escalade. Before he even left his driveway, he careened into a row of hedges, drove over a curb, and swerved into a fire hydrant before ultimately plowing into a neighbor’s oak tree at 30 miles per hour.

When police from Windermere, Florida arrived on the scene, they found Woods asleep and snoring. He was unresponsive and unable to follow the simplest of instructions. His wife, Elin Nordegren, gave the officers two pill bottles to show what the golfer had taken — one for the sedative Ambien, and another for the narcotic Vicodin.

At the time, trooper Joshua Evans submitted a Request for Investigative Subpoena, asking for access to Tiger’s blood results from Health Central Hospital. In the narrative section of the request, Evans wrote, “The driver lost control of his vehicle, crashed and was transported to the hospital. A witness stated that the driver had consumed alcohol earlier in the day and the same witness removed the driver from the vehicle after the collision. Also, the same witness stated that the driver was prescribed medication (Ambien and Vicodin). Impairment of the driver is also suspected due to the careless driving that resulted in the traffic crash.”

In the narrative section of the request, Evans wrote, “The driver lost control of his vehicle, crashed and was transported to the hospital. A witness stated that the driver had consumed alcohol earlier in the day and the same witness removed the driver from the vehicle after the collision. Also, the same witness stated that the driver was prescribed medication (Ambien and Vicodin). Impairment of the driver is also suspected due to the careless driving that resulted in the traffic crash.”

But a judge refused cops’ request for Woods’ blood. He was never charged with DUI, and paid a $164 fine for careless driving.

Tiger Woods
Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office

Similarities to the 2009 Incident 

The latest DUI arrest has striking similarities to the 2009 case, even down to the clothes Woods was wearing.

Dressed in athletic shorts and a T-shirt, he was found unresponsive and sleeping in his black 2015 Mercedes-Benz. The vehicle had damage to the driver’s side wheel rims, two flat tires, damage to the front bumper and some scrapes and scuff marks on the rear bumper. A passenger side taillight was also out.

Like the 2009 incident, the event happened during an extended holiday weekend — this time, Memorial Day. Like the previous incident, Woods was unable to follow simple commands or respond coherently to police officers’ instructions.

According to a police report obtained by PEOPLE, Woods admitted to using several prescription medications, including Vicodin — the same pain reliever that he used before the 2009 accident.

This time, however, police were able to charge Woods with DUI.

“I understand the severity of what I did and I take full responsibility for my actions. I want the public to know that alcohol was not involved,” Woods, 41, said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE. “What happened was an unexpected reaction to prescribed medications. I didn’t realize the mix of medications had affected me so strongly,” Woods’ statement continued.

“I would like to apologize with all my heart to my family, friends and the fans. I expect more from myself too. I will do everything in my power to ensure this never happens again. I fully cooperated with law enforcement, and I would like to personally thank the representatives of the Jupiter Police Department and the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s office for their professionalism,” the statement concluded.