Carlos Gonzalez, the first LA county deputy to respond to the scene of Tiger Woods car crash said the golf star was “very fortunate” to have survived the accident.
Gonzalez said Woods was calm and lucid, despite being trapped in the SUV.
“The nature of his vehicle, the fact that he was wearing his seatbelt, I would say it greatly increased the likelihood it saved his life,” Gonzalez said.
“I’ve been doing this for a while and I’ve seen fatal traffic collisions, so I will say it’s very fortunate that Mr Woods was able to come out of this alive.”
Woods was removed from the wreckage with “multiple leg injuries”.
He was immediately transported by ambulance to the nearby Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, where he underwent surgery.
The LA Times later reported that Woods’ injuries included a shattered ankle and two leg fractures, one of which was a compound fracture. His injuries are not thought to be life threatening.
At a press conference Tuesday afternoon, Alex Villanueva, the Los Angeles county sheriff, said Woods had been driving northbound on Hawthorne Boulevard when he drove over the centre median into the southbound lanes, struck a tree and rolled the vehicle several times.
While the crash is still under investigation, Villanueva said the Woods’ SUV was “going at a relatively greater speed than normal”, although he added that there was “no evidence of impairment at this point in time” when asked if the golf star was under the influence at the time of the crash.
In a statement, Woods’ longtime manager, Mark Steinberg, said: “Tiger Woods was in a single-car accident this morning in California where he suffered multiple leg injuries. He is currently in surgery and we thank you for your privacy and support.”
Woods, one of the most prominent athletes in sport, had been in California to film a television programme for Discovery and Golf Digest, while he also attended the Genesis Invitational at Riviera on Sunday. The PGA Tour event benefits his charity.