Forensic experts say LA sheriff's department made decisions that were 'favorable' to Tiger Woods by not testing for impairment after his near-fatal crash

 Multiple forensic experts have questioned the actions of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office in the immediate aftermath of Tiger Woods' car crash, including the decision to not bring in a drug recognition expert to assess the golfing champion for possible signs of impairment.  

Woods, 45, was driving an SUV loaned to him by his PGA tournament, the Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club, on the morning of February 23 when he struck a raised median, crossed through two oncoming lanes and uprooted a tree. The crash occurred on a downhill stretch that police said is known for wrecks. 

The crash severely injured Woods’ right leg, requiring a lengthy surgery to stabilize shattered tibia and fibula bones. A combination of screws and pins were used for injuries in the ankle and foot. 


Several accident reconstruction specialists have questioned the Los Angeles County sheriff's decision to not bring in a drug recognition expert to assess Tiger Woods after last month's crash. Pictured: a law enforcement officer looks over Wood's mangled SUV

Several accident reconstruction specialists have questioned the Los Angeles County sheriff's decision to not bring in a drug recognition expert to assess Tiger Woods after last month's crash. Pictured: a law enforcement officer looks over Wood's mangled SUV 

Woods, 45, was driving the loaned SUV on the morning of February 23 when he struck a median, causing the vehicle to roll over

Woods, 45, was driving the loaned SUV on the morning of February 23 when he struck a median, causing the vehicle to roll over

LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva announced on the day of the accident that Woods was driving alone in good weather, and that his deputies 'did not see any evidence of impairment.'

The following day, the sheriff said the crash was 'purely an accident,' and therefore there had been no need to bring in a drug-recognition expert, or a DRE. 

But according to several forensic experts who spoke to USA Today Sports, based on the evidence in the case, including an affidavit from a resident who was the first to arrive at the scene of the crash, the legendary golfer was possibly inattentive or asleep when the SUV went into the median instead of staying in his lane.

Woods told deputies — both at the wreckage and later at the hospital — that he did not know how the crash occurred and didn’t remember driving, according to the affidavit that was filed earlier this month.


LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva announced on the day of the accident that his deputies 'did not see any evidence of impairment'

LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva announced on the day of the accident that his deputies 'did not see any evidence of impairment'

'LASD is not releasing any further information at this time,' the sheriff’s department said in a statement to the news outlet on Friday. 'The traffic collision investigation is ongoing and traffic investigators continue to work to determine the cause of the collision.'

Charles Schack, a former New Hampshire state police trooper who is now president of Crash Experts, which analyzes traffic accidents, told USA Today that it would have made sense for deputies to invite a DRE to evaluate Woods for signs of impairment.

'To an untrained person, sometimes the effects are a bit more subtle, and require a bit more in-depth examination to bring out the evidence of impairment,' Schack said. 

In his statement to the press a day after the crash, Villanueva explained that no field sobriety test was administered to Woods and no DRE was brought in because the start athlete had shown so signs of impairment whatsoever. 

Experts claimed that evidence in the case, including lack of skid marks on the roadway that would have indicated the driver's attempt to brake, suggests that Woods possibly dozed off

Experts claimed that evidence in the case, including lack of skid marks on the roadway that would have indicated the driver's attempt to brake, suggests that Woods possibly dozed off

An affidavit filed in the case stated that Woods told deputies on two separate occasions that he didn’t remember driving his SUV

An affidavit filed in the case stated that Woods told deputies on two separate occasions that he didn’t remember driving his SUV

First officer on scene: Woods was calm and lucid after crash
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'He was lucid, no odor of alcohol, no evidence of any medication, narcotics or anything like that would bring that into question,' said the sheriff. 'So that was not a concern at the time.'

The person who found Woods in his wrecked SUV prior to the arrival of law enforcement said that the golfer had lost consciousness and did not respond to his questions.

The first deputy, Carlos Gonzalez, arrived minutes later and has said Woods appeared to be in shock but was conscious and able to answer basic questions. 

Jonathan Cherney, a former police detective-turned-accident reconstruction expert who walked the scene after the crash, said evidence in the case, including lack of skid marks on the roadway that would have indicated the driver's attempt to brake, suggests that Woods possibly dozed off behind the wheel.  

Cherney said the fact that Woods twice told deputies he couldn’t remember driving at all 'absolutely' is a clue pointing to impairment.

If a DRE had been brought in to question Woods about medications and check his vital signs, and ordered a blood test at the hospital, it could have resulted in a misdemeanor driving under the influence charge, had the results showed drugs in his system. 

Los Angeles County sheriff’s Deputy Johann Schloegl previously told USA Today Sports that he did not seek a search warrant for Woods’ blood samples because there was no probable cause to do so, other than Woods' history.

The sheriff's office executed a search warrant for the 2021 Genesis GV80 SUV’s data recorder

The sheriff's office executed a search warrant for the 2021 Genesis GV80 SUV’s data recorder

Police say Woods was travelling at a high speed when he hit a raised median, smashed through a wooden road sign, splintered a tree and then rolled his SUV off the wrong side of the road where it came to rest at the bottom of an embankment

Police say Woods was travelling at a high speed when he hit a raised median, smashed through a wooden road sign, splintered a tree and then rolled his SUV off the wrong side of the road where it came to rest at the bottom of an embankment

In 2017, Woods checked himself into a clinic for help dealing with prescription drug medication after a DUI charge in his home state of Florida.

Nearly a month after the crash, it is now too late to get access to Woods’ blood and medical reports at the hospital without his cooperation or a search warrant, according to the report.

The sheriff's office did obtain and execute a search warrant for the 2021 Genesis GV80 SUV’s data recorder, known as a 'black box.' 

The agency's representatives so far have not released what they have found on it. 

Forensic experts say LA sheriff's department made decisions that were 'favorable' to Tiger Woods by not testing for impairment after his near-fatal crash Forensic experts say LA sheriff's department made decisions that were 'favorable' to Tiger Woods by not testing for impairment after his near-fatal crash Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 05:18 Rating: 5

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