Officials to Examine Data from the Black Box Inside Tiger Woods' Car Following Accident
Sheriff Alex Villanueva said in a Facebook Live session on Wednesday that investigators "did a search warrant to seize, in essence, the black box of" the golfer's Genesis SUV.
"They're gonna go through it and see if they can find out what was happening at the time of impact, and with that, they'll have more information they can attribute [to] the cause of the accident," he added.
Villanueva also said later in the video that blood samples was not sought from Woods, 45, because of "absence of evidence of impairment."
Sheriff's Deputy John Schloegl told USA Today Sports on Tuesday that the investigation was part of their regular protocol, saying, "We're trying to determine if a crime was committed."
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"If somebody is involved in a traffic collision, we've got to reconstruct the traffic collision, if there was any reckless driving, if somebody was on their cell phone or something like that," he added. "We determine if there was a crime. If there was no crime, we close out the case, and it was a regular traffic collision."
Similar to Villanueva's comments, Schloegl also told USA Today that the department has "no probable cause" to obtain a warrant to get blood from the golfer, or from the hospital he was taken to for his injuries following the incident on Feb. 23.
Woods was involved in a single-vehicle accident in the suburb of Rancho Palos Verdes, California. His car was traveling downhill when it struck a sign in the center divider, sheared through a tree and landed in the brush alongside the road with "major damage," according to law enforcement officials.
The 11-time PGA Player of the Year was transported to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, where he underwent emergency surgery for "significant orthopedic injuries to his right lower extremity," Dr. Anish Mahajan, the Chief Medical Officer at the hospital, said in a statement. Woods was then transferred to Cedars-Sinai where he underwent "follow-up procedures," according to a statement shared on Woods' Twitter page on Friday.
"We don't contemplate any charges whatsoever," he explained. "This remains an accident. An accident is not a crime. They do happen, unfortunately."
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Villanueva noted during the news conference that Woods did not show evidence of impairment when a deputy first arrived on the scene, so calling in a drug recognition expert was "not a concern at the time."
The sheriff also said that investigators will not pursue a misdemeanor charge against Woods, such as reckless driving. He noted an infraction could be possible if evidence arises to support that.