Tiger Woods may have fallen asleep at the wheel prior to last week’s devastating single-car crash in Los Angeles that resulted in serious injuries and leg surgery for the legendary golfer.
Woods was driving a luxury SUV and appeared not to be paying attention moments before the crash, USA Today reported, citing forensic car accident experts.
Woods broke several bones in his lower right leg, indicating he was applying the brake at the time of the accident, experts said. The information evaluated by the experts also indicated Woods braked late, just ahead of the vehicle making impact.
“To me, this is like a classic case of falling asleep behind the wheel, because the road curves and his vehicle goes straight,” Jonathan Cherney, a consultant who serves as an expert witness in car-accident court cases, told USA Today.
Cherney is a former detective and investigated Woods’ crash site following the accident.
“It’s a drift off the road, almost like he was either unconscious, suffering from a medical episode or fell asleep and didn’t wake up until he was off the road and that’s where the brake application came in,” Cherney said.
LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva has said there were no skid marks to indicate braking — but the vehicle had anti-lock brakes, so even if Woods slammed on the brakes, “you wouldn’t necessarily see tire marks,” Felix Lee, an accident reconstruction expert, told the outlet.New York Post, via USA Today
While experts seem to agree that Woods wasn’t paying attention and may have been asleep, they seem to agree that the evidence suggests he wasn’t speeding.
Rami Hashish, principal at the National Biomechanics Institute, which investigate accidents told USA Today that this suggests a “very delayed response.”
“It was suggesting he wasn’t paying attention at all,” Rami Hashish, principal at the National Biomechanics Institute, told USA Today. Hashish then added he suspects the damage would have been a lot worse if Woods had been traveling at an excessive speed.
Many golfers competing in the WGC-Workday Championship wore red Sunday to honor Woods.
“It is hard to explain how touching today was when I turned on the tv and saw all the red shirts. To every golfer and every fan, you are truly helping me get through this tough time,” Woods tweeted.