© Reuters. The car of the golfer Tiger Woods is recovered in Los Angeles
By Dan Whitcomb
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Police on Wednesday tried to find out why Tiger Woods turned off a southern California road in his sport utility vehicle, collided with a tree and in an accident rolled down a hill that seriously injured the Gulf.
Woods, 45, was lifted from the rubble by rescue workers and taken by ambulance from the scene of the accident on Tuesday morning outside of Los Angeles to nearby Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, where his agent suffered "multiple leg injuries".
A statement posted on Wood's official Twitter account on Tuesday evening said he had undergone "lengthy surgery" on his right lower leg and ankle and was "awake, approachable and restful in his hospital room".
Compound fractures of his tibia and fibula – the two bones of his leg below the knee – were stabilized with a rod, and screws and pins were used to stabilize additional injuries to the foot and ankle, Dr. Anish Mahajan, Chief Medical Officer of Harbor-UCLA, said in the tweet.
Mahajan also said that trauma to the muscle and other soft tissues of the leg "required surgical release of the covering of the muscles to relieve pressure from swelling".
Los Angeles County Sheriff's MPs responding to the wreck found no immediate evidence that Woods had been under the influence of alcohol or drugs before losing control of his vehicle shortly after 7 a.m.
Sheriff Alex Villanueva said, however, that the golf star, who was "clear" after the accident, appeared to have gone faster than normal for a downhill, twisty stretch known to locals to be dangerous. The weather was not seen as a factor.
Video footage of the scene showed Woods' dark gray 2021 Genesis Sport Utility Vehicle that was badly wrinkled and lying on its side near the base of the hill with its windows broken.
Woods' injuries weren't life-threatening, the sheriff said, but sports commentators have already speculated the crash could end the career of the greatest golfer of his generation.
Woods is the only modern professional to win all four major golf titles in a row. He won the US Open, British Open and PGA Championship in 2000 and the Masters title in 2001, an achievement known as the "Tiger Slam".
But he has suffered injuries for years and underwent multiple operations on both his back and knees.
Woods, one of the world's most famous sports figures, was the car's only occupant when it crashed near the suburban towns of Rolling Hills Estates and Rancho Palos Verdes, the sheriff's department said.
The vehicle turned into an opposite lane over the center divider and hit a curb and tree as it sped over an embankment. "There were multiple rollovers" before the SUV came to rest, said Villanueva.
Woods hosted the PGA Tour's Genesis Invitational at the Riviera Country Club over the weekend but failed to compete due to his back injuries. The destroyed sports utility vehicle had the name Genesis Invitational on its doors.
He was seen on Monday at Rolling Hills Country Club with actress Jada Pinkett Smith, retired basketball star Dwyane Wade and comedian David Spade.
Golf Digest reported that Woods was filming a segment of TV show giving instructions to the three celebrities on the course and was due to resume filming Tuesday.
Woods held the top spot in the world's golf rankings for a total of 683 weeks and won 14 major championship titles from 1997 to 2008. His 15 major titles are second only to the record of 18 that Jack Nicklaus won.