Tiger Woods is “awake, responsive, and recovering” in the hospital after receiving major surgery following a high-speed rollover car crash near Los Angeles, according to a statement released on his Twitter account.
The golfing legend was driving in Rancho Palos Verdes around 7 a.m. PT when his SUV crossed a median and veered across two lanes of the road before hitting a curb, then a tree, and finally landing on its side in some brush, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva.
Woods luckily remained conscious and calm as first responders got him out of the car, however, he sustained a serious leg injury. He underwent a lengthy emergency surgery on his lower right leg and ankle at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.
“The leg fractures were comminuted, meaning the bone was broken into more than two parts, and open, meaning the broken bone was exposed to open air, creating risk of an infection. Orthopedic trauma specialists inserted a rod into his tibia to stabilize both the tibia and fibula bones, stabilized the foot and ankle bones with a combination of screws and pins, and relieved pressure to the muscle and soft-tissue of his leg by surgically releasing the covering of the muscle,” Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anish Mahajan said in a statement.
Villanueva claimed that it was “nothing short of a miracle” that Woods was alive after witnessing the damage at the crash site. In fact, he told the media that they’ve seen accidents with “far less obvious damage that ended up being fatal crashes.”
Woods was hoping to return to golfing within the coming weeks after having his fifth back surgery last month, however, this accident will obviously pose as another setback for the icon. Authorities claim that the 15-time major champion was likely driving his SUV at a high speed before the crash, as there were no signs of skid marks or other indications of braking.
Villanueva claimed that him and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Carlos Gonzalez, who responded to the crash initially, have responded to multiple accidents in the area where Woods crashed due to a section of road that moves downhill on a curve.
“Woods didn’t seem concerned with his injuries at the time, he was calm but potentially in shock. I do think the fact that he was wearing a seat belt and that the vehicle safety features worked as designed by the manufacturer likely resulted in either reducing his injury or saving his life,” Gonzalez claimed.
To free Woods from his vehicle firefighters had to break the windshield with an ax and use a pry bar to move the seats and metal from around Woods legs to ensure no further damage was done before extracting him from the vehicle. He went to the hospital in serious, yet stable, condition.
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.