Los Angeles County detectives have determined why the 5,000-pound SUV that was being driven by Tiger Woods on the morning of February 23 crossed two oncoming lanes of traffic and flipped before uprooting a tree — but they aren’t saying.
Citing unspecified privacy concerns for the golf star, Sheriff Alex Villanueva declined to reveal what caused the crash or what data had been recovered from the black box in the 2021 Genesis GV80 SUV Woods was driving.
“A cause has been determined, the investigation has concluded. We have all the contents of the black box, we’ve got everything,” Villanueva said when asked Wednesday by the Associated Press about the status of the investigation. “It’s completed, signed, sealed and delivered. However, we can’t release it without the permission of the people involved in the collision.”
Woods, who is in Florida recovering from multiple surgeries, could give L.A. County officials permission to release the findings of the investigation, according to Villanueva, who previously called the crash “purely an accident” and said there was no evidence of impairment.
“We have reached out to Tiger Woods and his personnel,” he said. “There’s some privacy issues on releasing information on the investigation so we’re going to ask them if they waive the privacy and then we will be able to do a full release on all the information regarding the accident.”
But Woods, who is not facing any felony or misdemeanor charges related to the crash, does not really have any incentive to give L.A. officials the go-ahead to share the details of what happened during the accident.
Given that Woods was found passed out behind the wheel four years ago and a toxicology report later determined he was under the influence of five different drugs, some have questioned the lack of transparency about the cause of the crash and why L.A. officials are waiting for the 45-year-old golfer to give his permission about the release of the data.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a department ever ask for permission like that,” Joseph Giacalone, a professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice and a retired NYPD sergeant, told the AP. “What happens if his lawyers say ‘no, you can’t send it out now.’ And then where does that leave us? I don’t think they would have asked any family member of us if they can come out with it.”