The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Division held a information convention at this time with updates on star golfer Tiger Woods’ single-vehicle crash on February 23 and revealed his Genesis GV80 SUV hit a high pace of 87 mph throughout the incident. The division blamed pedal misapplication (urgent the gasoline as a substitute of the brake in a second of panic), unsafe pace, and an incapacity to barter the curve within the street. The posted pace restrict is 45 mph.
Woods was driving northbound on Hawthorne Boulevard within the metropolis of Rolling Hills Estates in a Genesis GV80 luxurious SUV on the time of the crash. This part of street is a steep downhill that sheriff’s representatives known as out as having an abnormally excessive variety of crashes as a consequence of rushing.
The Crash Itself: A Recap
In keeping with Captain Jim Powers of the LASD’s Lomita workplace, which investigated the crash, Woods was touring between 68 mph and 89 mph throughout the collision. Based mostly on graphics shared by the Sheriff’s Division, Woods seems to have entered a righthand bend at excessive pace and understeered to the left, towards the surface of the flip. The car jumped the middle median, drove by means of an indication within the median, crossed the southbound lanes, jumped the sidewalk on the far aspect, and struck a tree 71 ft off the street. The impression with the tree despatched the car airborne and precipitated it to partially spin, touchdown on its aspect.
The GV80’s Occasion Information Document, generally often known as a “black field,” was recovered and examined below search warrant on March 1. In keeping with Powers, the EDR recorded two occasions correlated to the impression with the sidewalk curb after the car crossed the oncoming lanes and the impression with the tree. Collectively, the 2 recorded occasions present a seven-second window into what the car was doing proper earlier than impression. The EDR recorded speeds between 82 mph and 89 mph when the car jumped the median, 75 mph when it jumped the sidewalk, and 68 mph on the time of impression with the tree.
The EDR additionally recorded the place of the car’s pedals and confirmed the accelerator pedal at 99 % and the brake pedal at zero %. In different phrases, the gasoline was floored all through the accident, and the brake was by no means utilized. Pedal misapplication, because it’s recognized, is frequent when a driver panics and makes an attempt to slam on the brakes solely to hit the gasoline by accident.
“There was no proof of braking all through this collision,” Powers mentioned. “It’s speculated and believed that Tiger Woods inadvertently hit the accelerator as a substitute of the brake pedal, inflicting that 99 % score on the accelerator pedal.”
Woods has not been cited or charged. Powers defined a rushing ticket normally must be noticed by an unbiased witness or a peace officer to be able to get up in courtroom, neither of which had been current throughout this crash.
“The Occasion Information Recorder, that tells us bodily what occurred,” Sheriff Alex Villanueva mentioned, “however we want a human being to witness it.”
Is It Attainable to Unintentionally Get Going that Quick?
A MotorTrend investigation suggests Woods was seemingly rushing earlier than the occasions recorded on the black field. The GV80 Woods was driving seems to be a turbocharged four-cylinder mannequin primarily based on images from the scene. In MT instrumented testing on flat floor at full throttle, a four-cylinder GV80 requires 8.Eight seconds to speed up from 50 mph to 90 mph, and that is provided that the car is already accelerating at full throttle, not cruising at 50 mph. Accelerating from a gentle pace would take even longer.
If we assume as a substitute Woods was driving a GV80 powered by a twin-turbocharged V-6, it might nonetheless want 7.5 seconds to speed up from 50 mph to 90 mph in the identical situations.
On this case, Woods was driving down a steep hill, which might assist the car speed up extra rapidly. Even when we assume the hill would minimize the acceleration time in half (an enormous stretch), Woods nonetheless would have wanted to speed up at full throttle for 3.75 to 4.Four seconds previous to the beginning of the EDR recording. Whereas it’s doable Woods misapplied the pedals 4 seconds earlier than the EDR started recording, primarily based on the abnormally excessive fee of crashes on this stretch of street as a consequence of pace, it is extra seemingly Woods was already touring above the posted 45-mph pace restrict earlier than he by accident stomped on the gasoline.
Merely put, Woods was driving a luxurious SUV, not a Lamborghini, and would’ve wanted to be rushing already to be able to speed up to 82 mph previous to leaping the median. The car was not able to abruptly accelerating to that pace from the posted pace restrict.
Woods was not charged with reckless driving, Powers mentioned, as a result of such a cost would require a number of violations in collection, which didn’t occur right here. The truth is, Powers mentioned safety digicam footage confirmed Woods driving usually whereas leaving the neighborhood the place he was staying and out to the primary street. There was no footage of his driving between the neighborhood and the crash web site.
“There isn’t any proof of any elevated pace or rushed habits,” he mentioned. We should always stress our evaluation relies on instrumented testing of the identical mannequin of car and knowledge launched by the Sheriff’s Division, not direct data of Woods’ driving instantly previous to the crash.
Though Woods was beforehand arrested for driving whereas intoxicated, deputies didn’t search a warrant for his blood on this case. Deputies had been unable to manage a area sobriety check as a consequence of Woods’ accidents sustained within the crash, however Powers mentioned they didn’t discover any indications of intoxication on the scene or on the hospital and due to this fact didn’t have possible trigger for a search warrant essential to check Woods’ blood.
“There was no proof of any impairment,” Powers mentioned. “There was no odor of alcohol, there have been no open containers within the car, and there have been no narcotics or any proof of medicine within the car or on his individual.” Powers famous a number of instances throughout the division’s press convention that Tiger Woods has zero recollection of the accident, although he supplied lucid-seeming responses to deputies’ questions throughout and after his extraction from the GV80.
Equally, deputies didn’t search Woods’ telephone for indicators of distracted driving.
“It isn’t going to vary something,” Powers mentioned. “The reason for the collision was the pace and the lack to take care of the roadway, and so all it might’ve been is an related issue, which would not trigger the collision, and our aim is to search out out what the first explanation for this collision was, and that is it.
“It is unsafe for the situations,” he added, “identical to the car code reads. The pace restrict posted is 45 mph, and he was driving in extra of that, and it precipitated the collision, so it is unsafe.”
Sheriff’s Division officers didn’t know if any of the GV80’s non-obligatory superior driver help methods had been geared up or energetic on the time of the crash, nor might they are saying whether or not any onboard cameras had been current or capable of seize footage of the crash.
The County of Los Angeles is investigating site visitors management measures “to sluggish folks down” on that part of street, in keeping with Villanueva.