Tiger Woods suffered serious injuries to both legs as his car flew off the road and rolled several times on Tuesday near Los Angeles, United States.
Law enforcement officials who found the US golf legend said he was “very fortunate” to survive.
Woods did not appear to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol during the early-morning incident, and underwent surgery after the roll-over collision, said Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva.
No other vehicles or passengers were involved in the crash which occurred on a steep stretch of road known as a “hotspot” for high-speed accidents in recent years.
“I will say that it’s very fortunate that Mr. Woods was able to come out of this alive,” said deputy Carlos Gonzalez, the first officer to arrive on scene.
Gonzalez found Woods trapped in his vehicle but conscious, appearing “calm and lucid” and able to identify himself.
“It is my understanding that he had serious injuries to both legs,” said Los Angeles County fire chief Daryl Osby, describing Woods’ condition as “stable.”
Firefighters and paramedics extricated Woods from the wreckage of his SUV and transported him with a neck collar and backboard to a local hospital via road, where he underwent surgery.
There was “no evidence of impairment at this time” including any influence of narcotics, medication or alcohol, said Villanueva, adding that the crash remained “subject to investigation.”
Woods, one of the most successful golfers of all time, has won 15 major golf championships.
He recently underwent his fifth back surgery, and said he was uncertain if he will be able to play at the upcoming Masters, which he last won in 2019.
Woods, 45, was in the area for his annual Genesis Invitational golf tournament at the Riviera Country Club, and was driving a courtesy car on the morning of the crash.
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Deputy at Tiger Woods crash site: Seatbelt "greatly increased the likelihood" of survival. pic.twitter.com/upgFAG0PgI
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Woods was one of the most revered athletes in the world when he became engulfed in scandal in late 2009.
He smashed his car into a tree and a fire hydrant outside his luxury Florida home, sparking a series of scandalous revelations that doomed his marriage and put his game in freefall.
He later divorced from his Swedish wife Elin Nordegren, with whom he has two children, after a cascade of women came forward to say they had affairs with the golfer, making him fodder for tabloids around the world.
Woods underwent four back surgeries between 2014 and 2017.
In May 2017, Woods was arrested near his Florida home for being asleep at the wheel of his car in a traffic lane.
Woods said he had taken a mixture of prescription drugs and did not realize they would cause him to fall asleep. He pleaded guilty to reckless driving.
But he made an astonishing comeback to sensationally win the Masters in 2019, his first major title since the 2008 US Open.
He is the winner of 82 US PGA titles, level with Sam Snead for the all-time record.
In 2000-2001, while aged just 25, Woods became the first man to hold the US Open, British Open, the USPGA and the Masters titles at the same time.
Woods remains three major victories shy of the all-time record 18 won by Jack Nicklaus, but only four winners in major history have taken a title at an older age than Woods is now.